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New Ohio law allowing liquor delivery goes into effect

Posted at 5:30 PM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-12 18:57:10-04

RICHFIELD, Ohio — Beginning April 12, House Bill 674 goes into effect as law, allowing home delivery of distilled spirits.

The law revises existing liquor laws, allowing the Ohio Division of Liquor Control to implement rules permitting home delivery of distilled spirits in original containers.

Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill into law in January after it passed in the Ohio House in December—after Senate amendments—by a vote of 75-9.

With the passage of the bill also comes a new liquor license that allows the Division of Liquor to issue permits to charitable organizations, labor unions or employers of 10 or more people to sell beer or wine at a special function.

A spokesperson with the Ohio Department of Commerce told News 5 the new rules related to this law need to be sorted out by the Division of Liquor Control, and a draft of those rules are currently being shared with stakeholders.

At Corkscrew Johnny’s in Richfield, the pandemic pushed the business to add more delivery drivers to help fulfill a new rise in orders for beer and wine, which they’ve increased in delivering over the past several years.

For owner Jonathan Kerkian, the new bill is a game-changer.

“We’ve been ready,” he said. “When restaurants and bars shut down, we went from an average of 10 orders a day to 100 orders a day.”

Kerkian said he expects delivery business to double once he starts delivering liquor.

“Fifty percent of our sales are liquor,” he said. “So when you scale that to deliveries, it’s going to be the same thing. I’ve only been selling half of what I can sell. We’ll be one of the only stores to do hard proof spirits and wine and beer. So we expect it to take off immediately.”

A hearing on the matter is expected to occur sometime toward the end of summer, according to a spokesperson with the Ohio Department of Commerce. A release from the Department of Commerce points out that the person receiving the alcohol must be at least 21 years old, and liquor cannot be left in a mailbox or on a front porch if the customer is not present.

Additionally, the purchase will need to be pre-paid before delivery, and a delivery worker is allowed to cancel the sale if the customer appears visibly intoxicated.

The new law also allows nonprofits to sell alcohol at a limited number of events per year.

A separate bill made to-go cocktails legal beginning last fall.

RELATED: Gov. Mike DeWine signs into law bill that allows home delivery of liquor