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New Cocktail Law Goes into Effect in Indiana: What Does This Mean for You?

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Firm News

Raise a glass, Hoosiers! Indiana joins the growing list of states allowing to-go cocktails with a new law taking effect on July 1, 2024. This blog from The Law Office of B.D. Williams will explain what this new law means for Indiana residents,  businesses, and how it might impact responsible consumption.

What the New Law Allows

The COVID-19 pandemic brought a wave of temporary changes, and one that stuck around for many is the convenience of takeout cocktails. According to the National Restaurant Association, at the height of the pandemic, a whopping 39 states allowed restaurants to sell sealed cocktails for off-premise consumption.

This flexibility proved popular, and Iowa became the first state to permanently legalize to-go cocktails in the summer of 2020. Since then, at least 17 additional states have followed suit with permanent laws allowing takeout cocktails. This growing trend suggests a continued demand for this convenient option.

As of July 1st, restaurants and bars with valid liquor licenses will be able to sell sealed, to-go cocktails in Iowa. These drinks must be in tamper-evident containers with a seal that meets state liquor codes and include proper labeling. 

How Does This Affect Indianans?

The biggest question that this major new alcohol law poses is how will this affect Indianans? There are many people who have very strong opinions about what lasting effects we will see with this change, but at the end of the day, there are potential benefits for both consumers and businesses:

Benefits to Consumers:

  • More Convenience: Enjoy a restaurant-quality cocktail at home without having to dine-in.
  • Support Local Businesses: This can be a welcome boost for restaurants and bars still recovering from the pandemic.
  • Reduce Waste: When drinks are not offered to-go, you are more likely to only drink part of your drink rather than buying a drink that you can take with you. This waste of resources can be a financial burden. 

Benefits for Businesses:

  • Increased Revenue: To-go cocktails offer a new revenue stream, especially during peak hours or for special events.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Cater to a wider audience by offering take-out options.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • There might be limitations on the number of cocktails a single person can purchase at a time.
  • Indiana’s existing open container laws still apply. Consuming alcohol in a moving vehicle or public place is illegal.

Do We Expect to See More DWI Cases?

While some may worry about an increase in drunk driving, studies on states that have already implemented similar laws haven’t shown a significant rise in DWIs. Responsible consumption remains key anytime alcohol consumption is in question.

If you believe you are being unfairly targeted after having a to-go beverage in Indiana, it is critical to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. 


  • Always designate a driver if you plan to enjoy alcoholic beverages outside the home to ensure yours and other drivers on the roads’ safety.
  • Plan your transportation beforehand if you are unsure. Ride-sharing services offer a safe and convenient option.
  • It’s better to be safe than sorry in cases of public intoxication or driving under the influence. If you are unsure if you have had too much to drink, it’s best to assume you have rather than taking those risks. 

What to Do If You Are Arrested for a DWI in Indiana

If you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, here’s what to do:

  • Be polite and cooperative with the officer
  • Do not admit guilt or answer any questions beyond basic identification
  • Request to speak with an attorney as soon as possible

The Law Office of B.D. Williams has experienced attorneys who can help you navigate the legal process  after a DWI arrest. Contact us online or call us at (317) 500-4857 for a free consultation.