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Cocktails To Go Now Legal In Illinois

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Bars and restaurants with liquor licenses can now sell pre-mixed cocktails for delivery and pickup.

Gov. JB Pritzker signed House Bill 2682, which was overwhelmingly passed by the House and Senate, in an effort to support the hospitality industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: Illinois Lawmakers Approve Bill Allowing Pre-Mixed Cocktails To Be Sold For Pickup, Delivery

"Restaurants and bars are beloved businesses in so many of our communities and also some of the hardest hit from the COVD-19 pandemic," said Pritzker. "This legislation will provide these businesses with a critical tool to bring in additional income until they can safely and fully reopen their doors once more."

Under previous Illinois law, only sealed bottles of liquor and mixers could be sold – cocktail kits customers have to put together at home – and the bar industry said that profit margin is tiny.

Under the new law, pre-mixed cocktails have to be delivered by an employee over 21 who also must verify the age and level of intoxication of the recipient. The products must be properly sealed and inaccessible to the delivery drivers. Third-party delivery services are not allowed to deliver pre-mixed cocktails under the bill.

The bill delays late fees and license fees for liquor licenses for businesses. It also establishes automatic liquor license renewal approval and extension for any holder whose business has been suspended due to COVID-19.

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