Folks in Douglasville can now pick up their packaged adult beverages 90 minutes earlier on Sundays.
The Douglasville City Council voted Tuesday to amend the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance to change the starting time citizens can purchase retail packaged alcohol on Sundays to 11 a.m. The ordinance change takes effect starting this Sunday, Sept. 13.
Previously, residents who wanted to purchase alcoholic drinks at grocery stores, convenience stores, package stores and other outlets had to wait until 12:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Restaurants in Douglasville and Douglas County have been able to sell alcoholic drinks starting at 11 a.m. since 2018, when voters approved the “Brunch Bill.”
The move by the council Tuesday came after Gov. Brian Kemp signed HB 879 into law. That legislation allows cities and counties that both already had Sunday package sales approved by voters and already had 11 a.m. on-premise sales to change the time citizens can purchase alcoholic beverages at stores.
The Douglas County Board of Commissioners have a public hearing on a similar ordinance change on the agenda for their Sept. 15 meeting. The BOC would need to adopt a change similar to the city’s for stores in unincorporated Douglas County to sell beer and wine before 12:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Until 2011, retail package sales of alcohol were prohibited in Georgia on Sundays. Douglasville and Douglas County voters approved referendums allowing Sunday package sales in 2012. Sunday on-premise alcohol sales was also approved by Douglas County voters in 2012, which Douglasville voters approved in the late 1990s.
As part of the city’s alcohol ordinance change this week, the council also defined what a school is for the purposes of distances for selling alcohol.
Assistant City Attorney Suzan Littlefield told the council at Tuesday’s meeting that a learning center is looking to move into a shopping center where there is already a grocery store that sells beer and wine.
Littlefield said that under state law package sellers have to be a certain distance from schools. She said that local governments are allowed to “define what a school is” and that municipalities can adopt definitions of schools that are more strict than the state’s definition.
Littlefield said that the city’s ordinance “would show we mean to adopt the state’s definition of school and nothing more restrictive than that.” The state considers a school to be a public school operated by a county board of education or a state charter school or private school as defined by state law.
Littlefield said the learning center does not meet that definition of the school and will be able to locate close to the grocery store.