LEONARDTOWN, Md. — After careful consideration, the St. Mary’s County Liquor Board will allow alcohol beverage license holders to continue allowing customers to carry out mixed drinks and deliver these drinks to their customers.

Governor Larry Hogan[R] signed House Bill 12, allowing local boards to pass laws for alcohol beverage license holders statewide to continue alcohol delivery. The St. Mary’s County Liquor Board reluctantly adopted the bill in their meeting on July 8 because they were concerned about regulating the distribution of alcohol in this setting.

However, the board came up with a solution in the Aug. 12 meeting. They followed the verbiage of House Bill 12 verbatim.

First, only cocktails and mixed drinks are available for carryout and delivery. Although beer and wine can not be delivered, they are still available to customers in a packaged form at the counter like it usually is.

Also, licensees must register and earn permission from the liquor board and serve prepared food if they want to take part in off-site sales. All delivery-based sales are required to be documented, and the drinks must be sealed.

The liquor board prohibits these types of sales past 11 p.m., and they will regulate the quantity to two 12-ounce mixed drinks or cocktails to an individual in a single transaction. The board limits these sales to the area in which the liquor board operates.

This new set of rules will be active through 2023, which gives licensees more time to keep their businesses running during the pandemic. On the contrary, there are still some kinks to work out since the board still has minimal opportunity to enforce these new rules. Fortunately, the board has a fail-safe plan to end this practice after eight months if it becomes a public health and safety concern.

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