March 31, 2021

Montgomery County Alcohol Beverage Services’ Launches ‘Pause Program’ to Encourage Responsible Driving Decisions for Alcohol Awareness Month

April is National Alcohol Awareness Month and Montgomery County’s Department of Alcohol Beverage Services (ABS) is launching a “Pause Program” in partnership with Brown-Forman, a spirits manufacturer. The program encourages people to momentarily “pause” and make responsible decisions around alcohol, particularly in relation to drinks to-go.

ABS is distributing 20,000 branded stickers designed to fit on the lid or side of a to-go drink container that reads, “Pause until you get home—please do not open or consume while driving.” Throughout April, ABS is providing the stickers to restaurants that are approved to sell and deliver beer, wine, spirits and cocktails for off-premises consumption, along with a takeout or delivered meal. ABS also is providing stickers to off-premise licensed businesses and their own County-operated retail stores. Stickers will be offered to businesses at no cost.

“This is a great opportunity to remind the public and community at-large that alcohol to-go must be consumed at home, not while walking around town and never while driving,” said ABS Acting Director Kathie Durbin. “We want to keep our communities safe while helping businesses thrive in a time of need.”

The Montgomery County Board of License Commissioners last year approved a temporary resolution allowing restaurants to sell beer, wine, spirits and cocktails to-go during the COVID-19 health emergency. The to-go permission includes any type of sealed container, including bottles, cans, growlers, crowlers and takeout cups with lids for off-premises consumption. Under the resolution, businesses can deliver beer, wine, spirits and cocktails to County addresses, along with a meal, using the businesses own staff. State law prohibits the delivery of alcohol by a third party, such as Grubhub or Uber Eats.

Businesses that would like to request Pause Program stickers should email by April 23.

For more information about the program, contact Gabriela Monzon-Reynolds at 202-713-6765 or

For information about ABS, including licensing and education programs, visit its website.

ABS is the alcohol wholesaler of beer, wine and spirits for Montgomery County and operates 26 retail stores throughout the County. In addition, ABS manages alcohol licensing, enforcement, and education for more than 1,000 businesses. Generating more than $35 million in net income annually, its profits are used to pay down County debt with a large portion deposited in the general fund to pay for resident services that would otherwise be funded by County tax dollars.