County Allowing Late-Night Alcohol Sales

County Executive Marc Elrich has issued an updated executive order allowing food service establishments to sell alcohol after 10 p.m. 

The order allows food service establishments with no history of citations, or closures due to COVID-19 related violations, to apply for a permit to allow alcohol sales from 10 p.m. to midnight.

According to the County’s press release, establishments that receive a permit under the Late-Night Alcohol Sales Program will be subject to frequent and unscheduled inspections.  Those found violating any of the requirements of the Late-Night Alcohol Sales Program will be subject to:

  • immediate revocation of the permit;
  • suspension or revocation of their license to sell alcohol; and/or
  • fines up to $20,000. 

The program will be automatically suspended if:

  • the County’s three-day test positivity average exceeds 3.25 percent;
  • the three-day average of confirmed COVID-19 cases exceeds 100;
  • there is an increased association of indoor and outdoor dining with COVID-19 positive contacts of greater than 3 percent combined;
  • or more than 10 percent of inspected participants result in findings that warrant a citation, closure or revocation of a permit.

Food service establishments can apply for the COVID-19 Late-Night Permit via the County’s Alcohol Beverage Services website

Updated Executive Order 114-20 was approved by County Council yesterday in a 8-1 vote, with Councilmember At-Large Hans Riemer casting the lone vote against. “You may know that the Council approved the County Executive’s proposed regulation allowing alcohol to be served in bars and restaurants indoors after 10 p.m. under certain restrictions,” Councilmember Riemer said in an email statement provided to the Source. “I want to note that I voted against that measure today (the vote was 8-1), because I think it will lead to more cases and make it more difficult for us to reopen schools, which should be our highest priority. As you may know, New York has just allowed indoor dining yesterday (Sept 30) for the first time since the start of COVID. New York has been more successful than our region in controlling the virus.”

Photo: “‘If alcohol is a crutch, Jack Daniels is a wheelchair.'” by Thad Zajdowicz is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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