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Restaurants: Nebraska should extend carryout cocktails

January 2, 2021 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska restaurants that were allowed to start selling carryout cocktails amid the pandemic want to continue doing so even after it wanes.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that the Nebraska Restaurant Association plans to push for the expansion during the upcoming 2021 legislative session. The waiver extends until the end of the pandemic emergency.

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“This is a way for our restaurants to survive and come out the other side of this pandemic,” said Zoe Olson, the executive director of the restaurant group.

Olson said the association’s proposal would include a requirement for some sort of seal on carryout beverages that, if broken, would indicate that someone had opened their takeout drink in transit. The proposal would also end to-go drinks at some point, so legislators could review the policy and decide whether it should be extended.

But the idea is getting some pushback from groups that oppose binge drinking and drunken driving.

“When you increase the availability, and the ease of access to alcohol, that’s when you get increased harms,” said Chris Wagner, executive director of Project Extra Mile, an Omaha-based group that seeks to prevent or reduce problems associated with alcohol.