Blue laws may get sharper teeth - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Blue laws may get sharper teeth

October 3, 2002

Albany- Commissioners want to crack down on people who allow minors to get the hands on alcohol.  In Thursday's work session, three separate ordinances were up for vote, but tabled for further discussion.

The first would change the penalty for the businesses if they are caught selling to those under 21 and/or on Sundays. It would also eliminate the commission's ability to use discretion in punishment--meaning if you are caught the penalty is automatic.

Under the second each employee could also face tougher rules if they violate ordinances. Right now only those serving liquor in places where customer consume alcohol must have a separate license, but commissioner Bob Langstaff wants to extend that rule to everyone who sells it.

"I don't think the average employee understands the penalty, and we've put that burden in the past on the business owners and restaurant owners to educate their employees," says Langstaff.

That would include those who work at grocery stores and gas stations. "If one place has to have it, I think all business should," says Linda Copper, BP Gas Station Manager.

But others don't think its such a good idea. "They still can get the liquor from their parents, or grandparents, or uncles, so I think it's just a waste of money," admits Bruno's employee Yolanda Covin. The cost of the license is five dollars.

Under the third ordinance, those convicted of a felony over ten years ago would now be allowed to sell liquor, currently felons are barred from selling alcohol for life.

The commission will continue to discuss all three ordinances and vote on them during the next session.

Posted at 6:15 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com