BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) is now accepting permit applications from retail businesses interested in home delivery of alcoholic beverages. ATC expects to issue the first permits by Aug. 2.
Lawmakers passed two bills to allow restaurants, grocery stores, package stores, and third-party agents to deliver factory-sealed alcoholic beverages to homes throughout the state.
Belle Chasse Republican Chris Leopold’s bill allows grocery and liquor stores to hire their own drivers to deliver alcohol, as long as it comes in a factory-sealed bottle and the recipient does not live on a college campus. The other bill, by Shreveport Republican Rep. Thomas Carmody, expands the service to third-party deliverers and allows those drivers to deliver beer and wine along with a food order.
"The drivers will have to be RV certified, they cannot deliver to college campuses, they must check the ID at the door the same way that you would check an ID if you were in a bar or a restaurant,” said Alcohol and Tobacco Control Commissioner Juana Marine-Lombard.
Marine-Lombard says only a few companies have applied for the permits. She says once the permits actually start going out, she expects more to follow suit.
One of those waiting is Jim Urdiales, the owner of Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Cuisine. He was a strong proponent for alcohol deliveries.
"I mean, people want things brought to their home. Most households, both inhabitants are working, there’s kids involved, and there’s a time factor,” Urdiales said. “And so sometime, people just want to go home. They’d rather call and have everything brought to them at the house. They’re willing to pay the extra fees for it. I just see it’s where our movement of our industry as well.”
Waitr’s CEO Chris Meaux announced the food delivery company will start making boozy deliveries in the coming weeks.
Same-day alcohol delivery is available in more than 10 states from Sam’s Club.
Any business applying for a home delivery permit must have an existing physical location in Louisiana that is licensed to sell alcohol.
“We are developing the rules required by the new laws so that deliveries can begin as soon as possible,” Juana Marine-Lombard said. “Our main concern is ensuring that businesses continue to sell and serve alcohol responsibly.”
Urdiales says he hopes these changes are just the beginning.
"I’m just looking forward to in the future that we can have our margaritas being delivered to people’s houses as well,” he said.