New options for Sunday liquor sales bill - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New options for Sunday liquor sales bill

February 8, 2007

Albany -- Georgia is one of just three states that bans all take-home alcohol sales on Sundays. Two bills that could change that could be introduced in the State House as early as tommorow.

One would allow beer and wine sales at stores, after noon on Sundays. The other would also allow liquor sales.

Both of the bills will leave it up to local governments and voters to decide whether or not to allow Sunday alcohol sales in their communities. Some local liquor store managers however, say they don't expect legalizing Sunday sales will make much a difference for business.

If the bill allowing Sunday liquor sales passes, workers at Lighthouse Liquors will have to come in on a day they usually have off, to keep these shelves stocked. Manager Paul Duffy says it would likely just create more work without creating additional sales.

"I think it will not increase our business whatsoever. I think it will spread our business thin. We'll have to have more overhead. We'll have to have more people working on Sundays," said Lighthouse Liquors Wine Manager Paul Duffy.

But if either bill were to pass, Duffy would rather allow liquor sales on Sundays, instead of just beer and wine sales after noon on Sundays. He says people in Georgia are used to not being able to buy alcohol Sundays.

But legalizing sales would be more convenient for customers.

"When you're busy and you don't have time to plan to pick something up, then yeah, it would be convenient that the store would be open when normally it wouldn't," said Amber Albritton.

Duffy's store will adjust to serve them.

And while local liquor stores don't think it will help them profit, Georgia's governor is yet to share whether or not he supports the legislation.

"I personally wouldn't have introduced that bill. I think Georgia's done very well, one of the fastest growing states in the Union, and apparently people like to come here. I told a young audience on radio a few weeks ago. Just think of this as good life planning, you learn time management," said Governor Sonny Perdue.

Time management that many alcohol customers in Georgia already practice, by stocking up on alcohol they need during the week.

"We have a certain amount of people in this city, and just because we're open on Sunday doesn't mean they'll start drinking more," said Duffy.

For local liquor stores Sunday sales means one less day off for workers, but more convenience for customers.

The only other states that prevent Sunday sales are Connecticut and Indiana. A recent poll showed most Georgians support legalizing sales here.

The Governor says he'll decide whether to support or veto any bills legalizing Sunday sales if they make it to his desk this legislative session.

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