Despite unprecedented and unusual conditions at the Capitol this legislative session, many items were still accomplished, including efforts to continue alcohol modernization in the state. Senate Bill 1928 and House Bill 1349 were passed and signed by the governor to expand alcohol-related rules to allow Oklahoma businesses and consumers more flexibility on curbside sales, delivery and options at retail establishments. The Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement (ABLE) Commission also recently provided emergency rules on June 5 that expand on SB 1928 to further clarify curbside and delivery hours, delivery area and other details.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on many Oklahoma consumers and businesses, so the legislature and ABLE Commission have responded to allow greater accommodation for Oklahomans to still get alcohol products,” said Lisette Barnes, Oklahoma Beer Alliance president. “These changes have been very popular with Oklahomans and we applaud the many permanent updates.”
The Oklahoma Beer Alliance has assembled the following Q&A to help explain the changes and how they impact consumers.
Who can provide curbside alcohol service and what kind of alcohol is included?
SB 1928 allows liquor stores, restaurants, bars and clubs, grocery and convenience stores, and small brewers and small-farm wineries to sell curbside alcoholic beverages, but different license types determine what specific items can be sold curbside. Liquor stores, which are the only retail spirit licensees, can provide beer, wine and spirits in sealed original containers, in addition to nonalcoholic products. Small brewers and small-farm wineries can provide alcoholic beverages they produced in sealed original containers. Those with retail beer, retail wine, mixed beverage, or caterer/mixed beverage licenses can only provide closed packages of beer and wine.
Who can deliver alcoholic beverages and what kind of alcohol is included?
SB 1928 also allows for delivery of alcoholic beverages by liquor stores, restaurants, bars and clubs, and grocery and convenience stores. However, an important distinction to make is that the law does not extend to deliveries from small brewers and small-farm wineries. Regarding the kind of alcohol that can be delivered, it again depends on the license type. Liquor stores can provide beer, wine and spirits in sealed original containers, in addition to nonalcoholic products. Those with retail beer, retail wine, mixed beverage, or caterer/mixed beverage licenses can only provide closed packages of beer and wine.
Can I get cocktails to go?
No, the curbside alcoholic beverage law only includes items that are in sealed, original containers. Mixed beverages can only be consumed on premise for those locations with appropriate licenses. However, there are some alcohol products, like canned margaritas or other pre-packaged canned cocktails that would fall under the sealed, original container rule that liquor stores can provide curbside or deliver. Hard seltzers are also included. For example, Anheuser-Busch recently launched their Social Club Selzer, which includes popular cocktail-inspired flavors like Old Fashioned, Sidecar and Citrus Gimlet.
Can third-party vendors make deliveries?
Third-party vendors, such as DoorDash, UberEats or other delivery services, are not authorized to make alcohol deliveries, only employees of ABLE-approved licensees. This is mainly due to licensing and safety issues. Employees of the beverage licensee are licensed, third-party delivery services are not.
What types of payments can be made for curbside and alcohol delivery?
Payment for alcoholic beverage product delivery may be made by cash, check, transportable credit and debit card processors, and advance online payment methods, an update from the temporary guidance.
Can beer be purchased from retail locations that is above 8.99%?
Yes, HB 1349 extends the alcohol percentage from 8.99% to 15% that retail beer and wine licensees are able to sell. This measure allows Oklahoma consumers more options to buy alcohol products where previously beer over 8.99% had to be purchased in liquor stores only, and also brings the alcohol content to the equivalent of wine allowed in grocery stores and other retail establishments.
Can growlers and crowlers be sold curbside and/or delivered?
Yes, the sealed, original container language includes newly-sealed packages like growlers and crowlers, which can be sold curbside and delivered by restaurants and bars. However, small brewers are limited to curbside sales only.
When can I utilize the curbside or delivery options?
Curbside and delivery sales can occur during hours the licensee is authorized to operate, though delivery times may be limited at the end of the day to ensure deliveries are made within operating hours.
Where can deliveries be made?
Deliveries can be made in the county where the licensed premise is located, as well as neighboring counties touching the licensee’s home county.
When do the laws and rules take effect?
Changes made by SB 1928, including curbside sales and alcohol delivery took effect immediately when the governor signed the bill back in May. HB 1349 takes effect on July 1. The ABLE Commission emergency rules are pending the governor’s signature (his office has 45 days from June 9 to approve).
About Oklahoma Beer Alliance
The Oklahoma Beer Alliance is dedicated to promoting common sense laws that enable Oklahomans to choose the highest quality products without compromise, while encouraging personal responsibility throughout our community that benefits the common good. For more information, please visit okbeeralliance.com.