Michigan legislature passes cocktails-to-go, drinking districts bills 

Lawmakers in Lansing have agreed to a bill that will expand how restaurants can sell alcohol and where consumers can drink them this summer amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two house bills, one that allows bars and restaurants to sell containers with beer, wine, or cocktails to go and one that creates social districts within a common area for consuming alcoholic drinks - meaning you can walk around a certain area with an open container.

Both bills have been passed by the Michigan House and Senate and will now go to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office where, according to WWJ, she's expected to sign them.

Under the conditions of the bill allowing cocktails-to-go, restaurants must follow Michigan food laws, get approved for sale by the commission, and not fill the container prior to making the sale. 

The bill would also allow the establishment to sell and deliver beer, wine, mixed spirit drinks or spirits. 

The conditions are everyone must pay applicable taxes, comply with state law, deliver in a container that is clearly marked or stamped as containing alcohol, and the receiving party must show ID and sign at delivery. Strawholes are not allowed to be on the shipping container. 

Under the common areas drinking bill, cities and counties can designate social districts with outdoor common areas where people can drink alcohol from nearby restaurants. Drinks must also be served in a container that prominently displays the restaurant's name or logo and cannot be taken to another social district. 

Both bills passed with nearly unanimous approval with each bill getting a nay vote in both the House and the Senate.

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