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Alcohol proposal on table

Residents might get to vote on Sunday sale of beer, liquor

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ATLANTA --- Georgia voters could get a chance to say whether they want their local stores to sell beer, wine and whiskey on Sunday afternoons.

Legislation to pave the way for local votes would remove the last Prohibition-era hurdle to near universal access to libations, save for Sunday mornings. Communities already have the ability to vote on the sales of packaged spirits six days a week and liquor by the drink seven days.

"I think it has the greatest chance of passing than ever before," said Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers.

Supporters of Sunday alcohol sales pushed a bill during Gov. Sonny Perdue's administration, only to see it die when the governor announced he would veto it if passed.

Gov. Nathan Deal told reporters when asked Tuesday that he would sign a bill into law that permits local voters to decide.

"I believe that's what democracy is all about," he said.

By the end of the week, legislation had been introduced in the House and Senate modeled on the law that let local voters decide about Sunday drink sales. Tourism is one of the driving forces, according to Jim Tudor, a lobbyist for the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores.

"Especially in markets like Savannah, the tourist areas, unless you're coming from Connecticut or Indiana, you're expecting to be able to make a purchase on Sunday," he said.

Convenience stores in places such as Augusta and Brunswick lose sales on Sunday to bordering states, he said.

Some conservative religious groups oppose all alcohol consumption, especially on the day they go to church.

Many owners of liquor stores see no reason to pay employees to open another day when the stores don't expect to make any more money.

A survey released Thursday by InsiderAdvantage shows that, by a margin of 52 percent to 40 percent, the 456 registered voters questioned favor the legislation. The poll, taken Wednesday night, has a 4.5 percent margin of error.

Every sex, race and age group favored letting locals vote on Sunday sales, except for blacks, who oppose it 53 percent to 35 percent.

One in four voters questioned said it would be reason to vote against re-election of any lawmaker who supported it.

An informal survey of legislators shows about one-third will vote in favor of allowing a local referendum, one-third against and one-third undecided.

For example, supporting it are Reps. Quincy Murphy, D-Augusta; Barbara Sims, R-Augusta; Earnest Smith, D-Augusta; and Lee Anderson, R-Grovetown.

"I have no problem with the public voting for it. ... I think that everyone should get to voice their opinion," Smith said.

Opposing it is Sen. Hardie Davis, D-Augusta.

"I don't drink," he said. "... Given my capacity (as a minister), from a purely religious capacity, I would have to stay away from that."

On the fence is Sen. Jesse Stone, R-Waynesboro.

"I haven't decided yet," he said. "I've had some calls from home, but I want to hear them out first."

Reach Walter Jones at walter.jones@morris.com.

Representatives

- Rep. Lee Anderson, R-Grovetown; 608-B Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg., Atlanta, GA 30334; (404) 656-0298

- Rep. Gloria Frazier, D-Hephzibah; 604-C Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg., Atlanta, GA 30334; (404) 656-0265

- Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Evans; 614-B Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg., Atlanta, GA 30334; (404) 656-3949

- Rep. Wayne Howard, D-Augusta; 511-G Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg., Atlanta, GA 30334; (404) 656-6372

- Rep. Quincy Murphy, D-Augusta; 604-A Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg., Atlanta, GA 30334; (404) 656-0265

- Rep. Barbara Sims, R-Augusta; 508-D Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg.; Atlanta, GA 30334; (404) 656-0213

- Rep. Earnest Smith, D-Augusta; 511 Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg.; Atlanta, GA 30334; (404) 656-6372

- Sen. Bill Jackson, R-Appling; 109 Capitol Bldg., Atlanta, GA 30334; (404) 651-7738

- Sen. Hardie Davis, D-Augusta; 327-A Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg., Atlanta, GA 30334; (404) 656-0340

- Sen. Jesse Stone, R-Waynesboro; 320-B Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg., Atlanta, GA 30334; (404) 463-1314

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usapatriot
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usapatriot 01/30/11 - 02:27 am
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"Gov. Nathan Deal told

"Gov. Nathan Deal told reporters when asked Tuesday that he would sign a bill into law that permits local voters to decide."

Good for you Gov.

" Many owners of liquor stores see no reason to pay employees to open another day when the stores don't expect to make any more money."

Here's a clue, DON'T OPEN! A sunday sale law doesn't require you to be OPEN!

If boozers can't plan ahead for a "no sale" Sunday, they don't deserve to drink.

You'd think business would be against Sunday sales. They'd have a better chance of workers showing up for work Monday in better shape.

But, as with everything else, local govts will look at what tax revenue they can get.

shelby547
272
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shelby547 01/30/11 - 05:22 am
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Sunday should be no different

Sunday should be no different than any other day of the week. Not everyone works M-F and not everyone goes to church. No restaurants will come to North Augusta because they can't sell alcohol on Sunday's. I think it should be a federal law you can drink or buy any day of the week and in any state. If it's legal to drink then their shouldn't be time restrictions on what days of the week you can. How about you can't eat Oreo cookies on Tuesdays' or play tennis on Wednesdays. Old antiquated laws need to go.

dougk
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dougk 01/30/11 - 07:25 am
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Mr. Hardie Davis needs to
Unpublished

Mr. Hardie Davis needs to decide whether he wants to be a preacher or a state representative. Obviously, he is incapable of separating the two roles.

wribbs
474
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wribbs 01/30/11 - 07:27 am
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How can courts create laws

How can courts create laws blocking having a nativity scene on a courthouse lawn claiming separation of church and state but then create laws banning Sunday alcohol sales? I've never understood that.

This isn't that big a deal to me because I buy on Saturday or buy it out the back door of several places.

wribbs
474
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wribbs 01/30/11 - 07:34 am
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How can courts create laws

How can courts create laws blocking having a nativity scene on a courthouse lawn claiming separation of church and state but then create laws banning Sunday alcohol sales? I've never understood that.

This isn't that big a deal to me because I buy on Saturday or buy it out the back door of several places.

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 01/30/11 - 07:42 am
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So shelby547, what you are

So shelby547, what you are saying is if drinkers work schedule isn't M-F and they don't attend church then their right to drink whenever, wherever they please should trump those who don't drink (or want to keep their day of worship at least halfway sacred) and no one should tell them they can't.

What about smokers, shouldn't they be able to smoke whenever, wherever they want to and those who don't should have their rights trampled?

And dougk, I do believe Mr. Davis can be a man of God as well as a State representative. It's not an either or situation. The first role fulfills the need of the heart and mind in order to fulfill the second role with good judgment. Obviously some are incapable of understanding that.

dougk
3
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dougk 01/30/11 - 07:51 am
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It's not good judgment this
Unpublished

It's not good judgment this time, ICL. It's supporting HIS special interests.

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 01/30/11 - 07:54 am
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Well dougk, guess that's your

Well dougk, guess that's your opinon. Mine is that he's making a good judgment decision.

dougk
3
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dougk 01/30/11 - 08:31 am
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ICL, your thinking on this is
Unpublished

ICL, your thinking on this is clouded by the fact that certain religious beliefs serve as the foundation and the only justification for the law...back when it was passed and the only rationale that could possibly be used today. And, it would have been different if Mr. Hatney argued that his poistion is based on the sentiments of his constituency. But, no, he says: I don't drink and I'm a preacher, so I can't support it. What if he argued for the banning of meat in the state of Georgia because he didn't eat meat because he's a vegetarian?

soldout
1280
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soldout 01/30/11 - 08:42 am
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No good purpose is served by

No good purpose is served by drinking. It simply destroys lives. You can lose much by drinking but never lose anything by not drinking. Life has plenty of risk without paying for an additinal one. Don't be upset over people doing drugs if you vote yes for this. We will never stop drugs in this country if people don't set the example of avoiding all drugs including alcohol. If the devil had a vote he would vote for this. The tax revenue doesn't come close to the cost of the use of alcohol.

Riverman1
90171
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Riverman1 01/30/11 - 09:36 am
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So if Jesus comes to see me

So if Jesus comes to see me on a Sunday which is when he probably would and he wanted to drink some wine we would have to go out to the SideTrack Bar and Grill and set some unleavened bread in front of us for snacks, while we had a few glasses, told some jokes about preachers and then dodge the sobriety checkpoints on the way back to my house before Jesus had to go?

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 01/30/11 - 10:00 am
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So... when is Hardie going to

So... when is Hardie going to go ahead and swap to the Republican side? There was a handsome looking Libertarian than ran against him in the special election that would have been a cosponsor on this bill. He wasn't elected, because Libertarians have cooties, or so the town thought...

xrev
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xrev 01/30/11 - 10:17 am
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The Sabbath is sundown Friday

The Sabbath is sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Established AFTER creation in Genesis 2 when Elohim set it apart and sanctified it. It was observed by Yeshua the Christ faithfully. It was observed the first 300 years after Christ's ascension by the Messianics and the non- Messianic Jews, not Sunday. The switch to Sunday as the Sabbath was done by a Pope, not the Creator. Is the Catholic "sabbath" , and the good old protestants kept up the practice.
Why is it ok to buy on the real Sabbath and not ok on the Catholic Sabbath?
"MY PEOPLE PERISH FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE."

Riverman1
90171
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Riverman1 01/30/11 - 10:21 am
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Taylor, Kwell Cream. But Xrev

Taylor, Kwell Cream. But Xrev makes a good point. Religions differ on the Sabbath. I say we move it to Tuesday, a neutral day, to restrict buying alcohol. Only politicians drink on Tuesday nights and then only every few years.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 01/30/11 - 11:04 am
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Oh yeah, had a couple of

Oh yeah, had a couple of Tuesday night beers last year.

dface
0
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dface 01/30/11 - 12:27 pm
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The 'real' boozers are the

The 'real' boozers are the ones that DO plan ahead for Sunday alcohol. Others like me forget about the law because it's not as important to them to remember UNLESS they are planning a party. When you take away the ability to drink at HOME on Sunday you give opportunity to those that will drink and then drive home to get it from restaurants. Is that what we want, a nice Sunday drive to turn into an accident all because instead of driving to the gas station/liquor store to get a drink for home, they had to stay at an establishment and make the decision (while intoxicated) to drive.
It sounds to me that the law exists because of OTHER reasons such as the lining of a politicians pockets. Now THAT makes more sense than using the front of religion.

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 01/30/11 - 05:29 pm
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Riverman1, your joke wasn't

Riverman1, your joke wasn't funny on the other postings, nor is it funny here. What you don't seem to know is that if Jesus actually came to visit you, you wouldn't need to go anywhere for your "unleaven snacks or beverage". He supplies all our needs.

xrev, no where did I mention Sabbath. I said our day of worship, which, for I would guess, the majority of the US is on Sunday. Whether you consider Saturday the Sabbath as in Old Testament times or Sunday the Sabbath in celebration of the resurrection of Christ on the first day of the week, is really not the point. You will always have those who are of this world complaining about those who follow the spiritual guidelines set by the creator of this universe, God Almighty. We may not overcome this world but He who reigns will always overcome....it's His battle anyway.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 01/30/11 - 06:01 pm
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ICL, ye of little faith? Put

ICL, ye of little faith? Put it up for vote and pray god will stop it. The Lord gave us free will, and then big headed christians to take it away?

Riverman1
90171
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Riverman1 01/30/11 - 06:41 pm
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ICL, Jesus did like to go out

ICL, Jesus did like to go out and booze it up with the guys. Why wouldn't he want to do something he used to do when he was mortal if he came to see me? Maybe even go find some Mary Magdaline's to accompany us. As far as the unleavened bread, at least you can buy it at the grocery store on Sundays...pita bread.

Riverman1
90171
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Riverman1 01/30/11 - 06:54 pm
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ICL, I don't mean to be

ICL, I don't mean to be disrespectiful toward you or Christianity. I'm proud to say I'm a "Living Bible" type Christian who appreciates the metaphors, pageantry and ceremony. Weddings and funerals wouldn't be much without a preacher. Kids need the rules religion gives us. Heck, we all need them. I'm simply pointing the fallacy of connecting (no) Sunday sales of alcohol to Christianity.

shelby547
272
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shelby547 01/30/11 - 07:19 pm
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You are exactly right

You are exactly right InChristLove. That is exactly what I am saying. You sir or mam are a complete hypocrite. You want "YOUR" ways to trump everyone elses. Remember not everyone that lives here is a christian. And if you play the whole "founding fathers" card like so many have done in the past then we would still have slaves just like our "founding fathers". Answer me this. How is someone buying alcohol on a Sunday hurting you more than someone buying alcohol on a Tuesday?

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 01/30/11 - 10:15 pm
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Personally shelby547, I would

Personally shelby547, I would prefer no alcohol sold at all. I've personally dealt with the destruction it can cause a person and their family. For you to call me a hypocrite is hilarious...you know nothing about me from one or two posts on here. Just because I prefer no alcohol sales on Sunday does not mean that I want "MY" ways to trump anyone else, it's simply my opinion just as you have yours. With that philosophy I could say that you want "YOUR" ways to trump everyone else that differ from yours. Is not my way just as valid as your way or is this only a one way street and anyone else is a hyprocrite.

To answer your question, anyone buying alcohol on Sunday does no harm to me than someone buying it on Tuesday....like I said I wish it didn't exist at all.

Riverman1, you say you mean no disrespect to me or Christianity but we are not the ones who you offend. You sir have showed blatant disrespect to God Almighty himself and you will answer to Him and Him alone. You sir are no "Living Bible" or any other type Christian. Anyone who would write what you have, not once, but twice, in these forums, is either no child of God or one who has most definitely strayed from His teachings. I'm not offended, just terribly sad for you.

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 01/30/11 - 10:22 pm
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TaylorB, I have no fear of

TaylorB, I have no fear of putting it to a vote. If it passes then I learn to deal with it, if it doesn't then I learn to deal with all the "Christian" criticism as always.

Just so you know, even if the law is reversed and Sunday's are open to buy alcohol, doesn't mean it's God's will. All that means to me is that there are more people whom we (children of God) need to reach for Christ or bring back to the fold those who have gone astray. Either way, it doesn't effect my worship of Christ on Sunday. So put it to a vote.

sjgraci
2
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sjgraci 01/30/11 - 10:45 pm
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The American Taliban still

The American Taliban still wishes to impose their own Sharia Law on the rest of us.

animate
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animate 01/30/11 - 11:22 pm
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You're all missing a valid

You're all missing a valid point, WHEN Jesus comes, he's not going to be looking for a drink! If you don't drink, don't vote for Sunday sales.( I mean, who needs the extra tax money it will generate?) Boozers? Are you serious? This is getting blown all out of proportion, we're only 20 years behind most cities our size thanks to close minded people. It's also hypocritical and ok for people to drink 6 days a week but you have a problem with Sunday sales, ICL.

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 01/30/11 - 11:48 pm
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animate, please go back and

animate, please go back and read my 10:15pm post. Did I say I have a problem with "Sunday" sales? I do believe people love the word hypocrite and the word hypocritical, but fail to understand what it really means. Please tell me how what I posted is hypocritical?

stairway2nowhere
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stairway2nowhere 01/31/11 - 09:50 am
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yeah the poor old south is so

yeah the poor old south is so far behind these other cities oh and by the way have you gone and seen just what these cities have to offer in their cosmopolitan ways.....drunk bums sleeping every three feet down the sidewalks beggars and your lucky if you dont get shot robbed or raped or killed.....yes please lets catch up with these cities...people act like they are gonna keel over dead if you cant buy beer for one day

whatsthedeal
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whatsthedeal 01/31/11 - 10:23 am
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I had no idea that Christians

I had no idea that Christians were so easily corrupted. Seems to me it would be a better testament if you could buy alcohol on Sundays, but chose not to out of respect for your worship day. But I see from some of the above arguments that this puritanical law to regulate morality is necessary.

faithson
5410
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faithson 01/31/11 - 11:02 am
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It's not about Christians,

It's not about Christians, it's about self control. The state controls sales because for the most part the people don't control themselves. Looking at the facts on the ground, the state has a good case for regulating sales. Of course when money is involved (taxes), all bets are off

Chillen
17
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Chillen 01/31/11 - 11:06 am
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I needed some red wine for a

I needed some red wine for a recipe I wanted to make yesterday and I couldn't get it at the store. Sure, I should plan ahead & keep it on hand but it didn't work out that way. It's ridiculous that the government can tell me that I can't buy it just because it's Sunday.

This law is going to go away in Georgia within the next two years. Count on it.

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