Sen. Dodd’s To-Go Cocktails Sales Bill Approved in Committee

Monday, July 12, 2021

SACRAMENTO – Legislation from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, to assist restaurants struggling to recover from the pandemic by making permanent a temporary order to allow the sale of to-go cocktails as part of take-out and delivery food orders cleared a key committee today.

“Allowing restaurants to sell carry-out cocktails has been a lifeline for an industry that is struggling to keep its doors open,” Sen. Dodd said. “My bill will help preserve jobs and get our economy back on track. Thanks to my Assembly colleagues for supporting this important proposal.”

The legislation comes as restaurants nationwide recover from hundreds of billions of dollars in losses sustained because of lockdowns and social distancing requirements to stop the spread of coronavirus. A survey by the National Restaurant Association found 78% of restaurant owners who began selling take-out alcohol rehired laid off employees compared to 62% overall. At least 33 states including California are temporarily allowing the sale of to-go cocktails during the pandemic.

To ensure the economic recovery of California restaurants, Sen. Dodd’s proposal – Senate Bill 389 -- would allow restaurants to sell to-go alcoholic beverages with food orders. The provision would sunset after five years. SB 389 requires third-party delivery drivers to obtain a permit from the Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control to ensure alcohol is not sold to minors.

Sen. Dodd, who is chair of the Senate Governmental Organization committee overseeing such areas as alcohol regulation, introduced the bill with the support of the California Restaurant Association. It passed the Assembly’s Governmental Organization committee with bipartisan support.

SB 389, which was previously approved by the full Senate, heads next to the Appropriations committee on its way to the Assembly floor.

“We thank you for your leadership on this issue and for taking what has been a successful trial project for the last year and seeking to keep it in place as the restaurant community attempts to rebuild over the next few years from the current economic devastation -- and return as one of California’s largest private sector employers,” said Matt Sutton, senior vice president of the California Restaurant Association, in a letter of support for SB 389.


Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at