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Wine Doggy Bags FAQ

October 15, 2008

Wine Doggy Bag FAQs:

Many of you have raised questions about the recently passed Wine Doggy Bag provisions. Here are the most common questions we received here in the office at RAMW, and the answers provided by RAMW’s General Counsel, Andrew J. Kline:

Do I have to use the special wine doggy bags? Or can I just use a regular take away bag stapled closed? The bag or container must be secured in such a manner that it is visibly apparent if the container has been opened or tampered with. You do not have to use RAMW’s designated vendor, but the Wine Doggy Bag meets those requirements. To order from visit the website or call (800) 401-9014. Mention that you are a member of RAMW to receive a member only discount.

How many bottles can a patron take with them? One

Can I sell an unopened bottle and put in the Doggy Bag? No, the law only authorizes partially consumed bottles to be removed from your restaurant.

Who is responsible if the patron opens the bag after leaving my restaurant before they arrive at home/destination? If you comply with the law, you are not responsible and the patron may be in violation of the DC open container law.

What is the procedure for sealing and labeling the bags? How does the seal work? The Wine Doggy Bag has an adhesive seal that, once closed, cannot be reopened without ripping or otherwise breaking the bag. A dated receipt must be attached to the Wine Doggy Bag or other container.

Where can I find the legislation? Here it is, as passed by the Council:

A restaurant license (R) under this section shall authorize the licensee to permit a patron to remove one partially consumed bottle of wine for consumption off premises.

“(B) A partially consumed bottle of wine that is to be removed from the

premises must be securely resealed by the licensee or its employee before removal from the premises.

“(C) The partially consumed bottle shall be placed in a bag or other

container that is secured in such a manner that it is visibly apparent if the container has been subsequently opened or tampered with, and a dated receipt for the bottle of wine shall be provided by the licensee and attached to the container.”

Submit additional questions on this and other issues affecting your business at

To order wine doggy bags from our Endorsed Provider (15% member discount) visit: or call (800) 401-9014.

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