Last week, the Alabama ABC Board filed a new order extending the emergency curbside authorization until September 15, 2020. This order allows customers to purchase beer, wine and spirits to take home without leaving their car. You can read the emergency rule here.
It should be pointed out that the ABC Board was ahead of the curve. The original emergency rule was authorized in March, making Alabama one of the first states to ease restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The order limits the amount of alcohol that can be purchased at any given time, as follows:
- No more than one liter of spirits,
- No more than 1.5 liters of wine, or
- No more than 288 ounces of beer
The limit of 1.5 liters of wine is equivalent to two 750 mL bottles. The limit of 288 ounces of beer is equivalent to a standard case of 24 12-oz bottles.
Customers can also buy beer in growlers from retailers and breweries in those locations that are authorized to sell draft beer.
Take-home sales only
There was initially some confusion in the market about whether this allowed open containers and mixed drinks. It does not. All alcohol sold under this order must be in sealed containers for off-premises consumption.
Many cities in Alabama also have “entertainment districts” that allow to-go cups of alcohol to be consumed in a designated area. This order does not affect those zones.
Many states around the country have authorized, either temporarily or permanently, the home delivery of alcohol in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the administration in Alabama has not authorized delivery at this time, and the state legislature is not currently in session to consider such legislation.