This Alcohol Change at Restaurants Could Become Permanent, Experts Worry
Home alcohol deliveries became a widespread trend after COVID-19 left most Americans suddenly bound to their own kitchens. With restaurant closures happening almost daily, the relaxed rules that made alcoholic beverage deliveries possible were wholeheartedly embraced by the alcohol and restaurant industries. But keeping this level of access to alcohol beyond the pandemic could have detrimental consequences to public health, advocacy groups say.
Last year, 30 states loosened their alcohol restrictions, making to-go drinks the new normal. Not only can you order wine to be delivered by the case to your doorstep, but local restaurant orders through delivery apps can also include cocktails and beers. These allowances were supposed to be temporary moves intended to boost revenues for businesses amid sharp declines in foot traffic to restaurants and bars.
The American Public Health Association and the U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance are two public health advocacy groups warning about the dangerous consequences of looser alcohol laws, including higher instances of alcohol addiction, drunk driving, and underage drinking, among others.
"The more available alcohol is, the more we are likely to see increases in drinking and the harms associated with that," Alicia Sparks, vice chair of the Alcohol Policy Alliance, told Business Insider. "We fully support small businesses. We just want to be thinking of how we can help them grow in a way that's safer for communities."
But the battle may already be lost. States like Ohio, Massachusetts, Iowa, as well as the District of Columbia, have already made their to-go alcohol allowances permanent. Texas, Oklahoma, Maryland, and Florida are about to make the same changes to their laws. Mark Whatley, the National Restaurant Association's vice president for state affairs and grassroots advocacy, said he hopes that as many as 40 states would make the same concessions by the end of the year.
Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get all of the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.
More content from Restaurants
- – The Best Dishes to Order at a Steakhouse Right Now
- – McDonald's Is Bringing Back This Highly Anticipated Collaboration
- – 7 Controversial Ads Jack in the Box Doesn't Want You to Remember
- – 9 Burger Chains With the Best Quality Meat in America
- – Best Once-in-a-Lifetime Meal in Every State
- – 5 Most Powerful Fried Chicken Chains Right Now
- – 7 Bizarre Rules That Chick-fil-A Employees Have to Follow
- – 8 Classic Orders You Have To Try at a Steakhouse, According to Chefs