Among the legislative victories of the special session was the overwhelming support of legislation to allow bars and restaurants to sell pre-made cocktails for pick-up or delivery as part of the reopening of Illinois’ economy. The legislation, House Bill 2682, which was co-sponsored Rep. Murphy, was signed by Governor Pritzker this week. It is a vital step in the right direction, similar to outdoor seating, to help struggling bars and restaurants weather the coronavirus shutdown storm as alcohol sales are one of the most important revenue generators for the industry.
Cocktails can only be delivered in a sealed, labeled container with a tamper-evident cap or seal by an employee of the liquor license holder who is over the age of 21 and trained in responsible alcohol service. Cocktails may not be delivered via a third party delivery app. Cocktails can only be delivered after an employee verifies the age as well as the level of intoxication of the consumer.
The legislation also delays late fees and license fees for liquor licenses for businesses, and establishes automatic liquor license renewal approval and extension for any license holder whose business or operations have been suspended in any capacity due as a result of COVID-19.
The late filing fee waiver applies for 6 months and the license extensions lasts for 120 days, after the latter of:
• the day the region moves to Phase 4, or
• the day after the expiration of the latest EO that limits or interrupts business, or
• the day after the expiration of any rules from DPH or other agencies.
Once signed by the Governor, House Bill 2682 took immediate effect.