New Jersey approves door-to-door alcohol and cocktail home delivery

New Jersey announced Friday that third-party services — such as DoorDash and Instacart — will soon be allowed to deliver alcoholic beverages from restaurants, bars and liquor stores to customers at home.

Applications for “third-party delivery permits” — including for “to-go” cocktails — will open Oct. 1, the state attorney general’s office announced.

In Pennsylvania, cocktails to go were legal during the pandemicbut they were later banned again.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Division, part of the Attorney General’s Office, issued its decision on Friday after reviewing details with the New Jersey Licensed Beverage Association, New Jersey Liquor Store Alliance and delivery industry participants by some thirds. , the attorney general’s office said in a news release.

“Demand for delivery services has exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the third-party delivery license expands that market in New Jersey and allows retailers to access it,” said Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin in a statement.

The permit allows delivery services to enter into formal agreements with restaurants, bars and liquor stores to make deliveries on their behalf, the attorney general’s office said. The permit will not be available to businesses that do not have liquor retail licenses, such as craft breweries and distilleries.

The permit, which will cost $2,000 per year, will allow independent contractors using their personal vehicle to deliver liquor from licensees to customers’ homes and charge a flat fee for the delivery.

Officials stressed that a series of safeguards will be in place, including the requirement that delivery drivers pass criminal background checks and driving records.

There will be alcohol compliance training to ensure patrons are of legal age and not visibly intoxicated, officials said.

Deliveries to the campus of any college or university will be prohibited.

Governor Phil Murphy said in a statement, “Security is a key part of this decision; we want to make sure that those involved in delivering and receiving these products are authorized to do so. As we continue the economic recovery from COVID-19, we must continue to take steps to evolve and adapt to our new normal.