Liquor Stores Deliver, Innovate Amid Oklahoma's Coronavirus Outbreak

Wednesday, March 25th 2020, 7:29 am
By: Erick Payne

The state is now allowing liquor stores and some other businesses to deliver beer and wine to homes.

The Oklahoma ABLE Commission gave the green light in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Oklahoma joins a growing list of states that already allow alcohol delivery to homes or are loosening the rules temporarily.

Liquor stores across Tulsa County said the ABLE Commission's new guidance is too fresh to start deliveries today, but some owners said they're looking into starting soon. Once those businesses get rolling, they'll be able to deliver alcohol to your home if you're older than 21.

These temporary rules take place from now until April 17.

"Most importantly, we're trying to do what we can with our functions as the alcohol regulating agency in the state to limit the community spread of COVID-19," ABLE Commission Deputy Director Steven Barker said.

Barkers said there are a range of limitations for each type of business to follow.

Liquor stores can deliver wine, beer and spirits.

Small breweries and farm wineries can deliver alcoholic drinks produced by themselves, in sealed original containers.

Restaurants, bars and clubs can deliver original sealed packages of beer and wine only.

Grocery and convenience stores will be allowed to deliver closed containers of beer and wine only.

"At least there's some of them out there that are operating these businesses that think it will help, so we certainly hope so," Barker said.

Barker said each store or business has to use its own, licensed employees. It means no services like DoorDash, UberEats, or Drizzly can bring you alcohol.

"Those employees are already licensed by us, they're required to do safe server training, how to check IDs properly, so we thought it would be best if those individuals who've done that training, they're already licensed by us," Barker said.

The deputy director said the commission will be talking about this temporary rule at their meeting next month to see if it will need to be extended.