Are To-Go Alcoholic Beverages Here to Stay in NY and VT?

Recorded June 16, 2021

As COVID-19 restrictions are removed in both Vermont and New York, one popular carry-over is the allowance of to-go alcoholic beverages. Are these likely to last much longer?

Attorney Ben Barry of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP is on the radio with WIZN to help explain.

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Joe: 106.7 WIZN, the Rolling Stones with “Miss You.” You heard Derek and the Dominos before that. I’m Joe Vega, taking you through your Wednesday “Rock Your Ride Home,” and I’m joined now by Ben Barry from Martin Harding & Mazzotti. Hello, Ben.

Ben: Hello, Joe.

Joe: So, Ben, as you know, on Monday, Vermont Governor, Phil Scott, got rid of all of the COVID-19 restrictions as did, for the most part, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo yesterday. But with those restrictions were a couple of consolations, if you will, and one of them was something that I was a big fan of: the 2Go beverage. And, now, Phil Scott has already said he’s gonna extend them a little bit, but I’m worried. Is the 2GO adult beverage a thing of the past?

Ben: I don’t know that it will stick around, to be honest with you. I have some reservations about the policy. I know it’s very popular, and a lot of people like to grab and dinner and be able to take their margaritas or whatever on the road with them. There’s a lot of states, particularly in the South, that allow drive-through alcohol shops where you can also purchase drinks that contain alcohol. For me, maybe I’m old school, but I feel as though it’s problematic in a lot of different ways. And, however, I can tell you that both in New York, and Vermont that the organizations that represent restaurants are actively seeking to keep the allowance in place for at least some period of time to extend into the fall. Now, with that said, like I mentioned, there are some statistics that are coming out of 2020.

Joe: Yeah. And that’s why I wanna get your take on this because you see a lot of accidents out there with your job.

Ben: I do. That’s what we do at Martin, Harding and Mazzotti. And so, there are some rather frightening statistics as relates to pedestrian deaths but also car accidents in general. The number of accidents, particularly there was a study that just recently came out from the Governors Highway Study that shows that pedestrian deaths are on the rise. And one of the most significant contributing factors to that is alcohol, not just as it relates to alcohol consumption by the driver of the motor vehicle, but also alcohol consumption by the pedestrian. And so, it also correlates with the rise of smartphones and inattentive driving also. But, one of the things that they’re looking at is alcohol, as they always look at alcohol, but maybe this allowance has contributed to that, maybe it has not. I don’t know. I’m not conducting the studies.

Joe: No, but I get what you’re saying.

Ben: And again, I don’t know that the dots on that picture are that close, but I do think it’s going to be part of the consideration. It’s going to be part of the calculus. And there’s certainly interest in reducing that fatality rate at whatever cost.

Joe: All right, Ben. Well, that’s disappointing, but as you said probably for the best. Thanks for coming on, buddy.

Ben: Thank you for calling.

Joe: And you can call Ben or any of the fine lawyers at Martin, Harding and Mazzotti at any time at 1-800-LAW-1010, or go online to 1800law1010.com. I’m Joe Vega again on out here, turning things over to Mel Allen. Now, he’s got music from Pink Floyd, the Eagles, and U2 coming up.

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