Alcohol consumption

Senate committee introduces bills in support of ‘to-go cocktails’ and pedicab drinking

Senate committee introduces bills in support of ‘to-go cocktails’ and pedicab drinking

Trenton Two bills sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal and Senator Linda Greenstein that would allow some liquor retailers to expand their businesses and continue to rebound from the worst days of the Covid-19 pandemic have passed the Senate Committee of the law and public safety.

The first invoice S-355, makes permanent a provision that temporarily granted retail licensees and craft distillery licensees certain privileges during the pandemic, including the ability to deliver liquor and mixed drinks. So-called “to-go cocktails”, including take-out and delivery, have become increasingly popular with customers and hospitality establishments at the height of the pandemic.

“Making take-out cocktails a permanent staple in the New Jersey food and beverage industry will help restaurants provide long-term stability while allowing them to recover from the limitations of the pandemic,” said the Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “Such innovations reflect the business models adopted by some establishments in the aftermath of the pandemic.”

Under the amended bill, mixed drinks would be sold in closed, sealed containers that are affixed with a tamper-evident seal and contain no more than 16 fluid ounces. All other alcoholic beverages may be sold and delivered in original containers of any size.

“Given that some residents remain reluctant to return to their favorite restaurant or bar in person, this bill represents a common-sense measure that reflects a form of new normal for some businesses, and one more way for these establishments to attract customers and remain viable. said Sen. Greenstein (D-Middlesex/Mercer). “Restaurants and customers will greatly benefit from this bill.”

The second invoice S-1505authorize and regulate the operation of pedicabs and the consumption of alcoholic beverages in pedicabs.

According to the bill, the pedicab could operate under these conditions:

  • the pedicab was authorized to operate by order of its municipality;
  • the operator must be 21 years old and have a driver’s license;
  • the vehicle must be equipped with seat belts, brakes, reflectors, lights and grab bars;
  • the owner of the pedicab must maintain general liability insurance of at least $500,000;
  • the owner of the rickshaw cannot go more than 30 miles per hour

Current New Jersey law does not allow pedicab passengers to drink alcohol while driving the pedicab. This bill would bring New Jersey’s pedicab rules in line with those of some other states, including California, North Carolina and Louisiana, which all allow alcohol on pedicabs.

“By designating certain areas for people aged 21 and over to drink outdoors, we can alleviate law enforcement issues, while allowing local establishments to expand their businesses, and also foster the growth and prosperity of new businesses like pedicabs,” added Senator Gopal.

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