Letter: Passing cocktails through car windows won’t help

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 5, 2020

In an attempt to help North Carolinians during the COVID-19 pandemic, the N.C. General Assembly passed and the governor on Monday signed H.B. 1043, the COVID-19 Recovery Act. However, Section 4.7 of this bill, allowing for the sale of curbside/delivery mixed alcoholic beverages, does just the opposite.

While restaurants that serve drinks are an important part of North Carolina’s economy, serving mixed drinks during COVID-19 is not.

The federal government has already taken steps to protect small businesses and their employees through the PPP and EIDL loan programs as well as expansions on unemployment benefits.

Deeming ABC stores “essential,” the Governor has already made beer, wine and spirits readily available through executive order.

While I am sympathetic to ensuring that both small businesses and employees of small businesses are paid, allowing the sale of mixed beverages will not change the economic fortunes of these businesses and their employees.

Curbside or delivery of mixed beverages poses a great risk to public health, including alcohol dependent individuals, drunk driving and excessive consumption. In these incredibly trying times, the N.C. General Assembly should focus on programs that support the health, safety and financial well-being of North Carolinians.

Passing cocktails through car windows checks none of those boxes.

— Dylan Ellerbee