ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Legislation allowing takeout drinks has become law as part of the FY 2023 New York State Budget.

The legislation allows bars and restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages “to-go” for off-premises consumption for a period of three years.

“New York’s nightlife and hospitality industry is second to none, and by allowing the sale of to-go drinks we will continue to support the industry’s recovery from the pandemic,” Governor Hochul said. “Cheers to both Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie for their help in making this change, which will drive business for the hospitality industry and be a lifeline, helping them comeback stronger than before.” 

The new policy prohibits bottle sales and requires food orders and sealed containers. All to-go containers must comply with municipal open container laws. The Enacted Budget also calls for a comprehensive look at all Alcohol and Beverage Control laws and creates a review commission to report on recommended improvements for businesses and consumers. 

The FY 2023 State Budget also creates the Commission to Study Reform of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, a temporary state commission tasked with analyzing and making recommendations to modernize and simplify the state’s alcohol laws and regulations. The commission will consist of 21 members.

The Commission will address issues including but not limited to:   

  • The industry’s economic impact on the state;
  • Changes in the law and/or SLA resources to speed license application processing
  • Laws addressing underage consumption; and 
  • Industry reform and modernization proposals as voted on by industry stakeholders   

The FY 2023 State Budget also includes the following changes:

  • Allowing liquor stores to be open Christmas day, should they choose;  
  • Allowing veteran’s organizations, such as Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Posts, to obtain licenses when a police officer serves as an officer of the organization;   
  • Allowing applicants to provide required notice to their municipality or community board via email, if the municipality or community board elects to accept notice that way; and 
  • Permitting farm manufacturers more flexibility by allowing food trucks or other such businesses to operate on their premises.