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Bill would let third-party services make alcohol deliveries

DES MOINES — Uber Eats, Door Dash and other services that deliver food would be allowed to deliver beer, wine and liquor from a restaurant, grocery store and other retailer if a bill that’s cleared the House becomes law.

Under current state law, bottles of alcohol may only be delivered by people employed by the retailer and that person must be driving a vehicle owned by the store or restaurant when making the delivery. Representative Mike Sexton of Rockwell City said most restaurants and grocery stores that sell wine, beer and alcohol just don’t have enough employees to make home deliveries.

“We’re working through the end of Covid, I hope, if it helps people from staying out of a grocery store, if it helps with an employee shortage that we have in the state of Iowa,” Sexton said. “These are some of the little things we do that I think we make life better for Iowans and, ultimately, that’s the reason why we’re here.”

The legislation requires delivery services and retailers to have written agreements in order to allow a third-party to deliver alcohol. Those agreements, listing names and addresses of the businesses and the delivery services involved, would have to be submitted electronically to the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division.

“We were doing Zoom calls with people in California and all over the place in order to make sure we got this right,” Sexton said.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

A year ago, Governor Reynolds temporarily allowed restaurants and bars to sell carry-out cocktails as part of her public health emergency proclamation. Then, last summer, Iowa became the first state in the country to pass a law making cocktails to-go legal.


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