Loophole may allow new Gwinnett Braves ballpark to serve beer anyway

I post this at my sports and entertainment blog, but I thought it might be of interest here as well.

Law? We don’t need no stinkin’ law.

While Rep. Donna Sheldon, R-Dacula, said a Sunday without beer at the ballpark would be fine with her constituents, Williams said he believes the stadium could enact the “restaurant rule,” which allows alcohol sales as long as more than 50 percent of food and beverage sales come from food. It is that provision that allows the arena to serve alcohol seven days a week.

“My understanding is the baseball stadium will be something like that,” Williams said, noting that alcohol amounts to 35 or 40 percent of sales at the major league Braves’ Turner Field. “As long as we don’t sell 50 percent or more, I think we can do it.”


  1. CobbGOPer says:

    Has no one seen the op-ed leaked to PI over at AJC.com? (http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/shared-blogs/ajc/politicalinsider/entries/2008/03/27/sonny_perdues_argument_against.html?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab)

    Sonny’s trying to use the public safety argument in an op-ed meant for use by Sunday papers around the state:

    “Do no harm. It may sound like a simple concept, but it is one that I am afraid supporters of Sunday alcohol sales may have forgotten.

    Above all else, I believe it is the responsibility of the Governor and the General Assembly to reject a piece of legislation that hurts more people than it helps.

    Allowing the sale of alcohol in grocery stores as well as liquor stores on Sundays will do far more harm than good. In fact, other than those who profit from those sales, it will not help anyone.

    In the 1990’s, the citizens of New Mexico debated the issue of Sunday alcohol sales. On July 1, 1995, most counties in New Mexico began allowing the sale of alcohol on Sundays.

    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded a study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, to uncover the legislation’s long-term effects using data from the first five years that alcohol sales on Sunday were allowed.

    The study found that legalizing Sunday packaged alcohol sales “exacts a significant price that is paid by crash victims and their loved ones, health care providers, insurers, law enforcement and the judicial systems.”

    The sponsors of the New Mexico legislation hoped that allowing sales for off-premise consumption might encourage more people to buy alcohol and drink at home, thus reducing accidents and deaths. This argument was a tempting trap for the state’s legislators, and many of our own elected officials are chasing the same carrot without seeing the stick.

    Now, I have always been a data-driven decision maker, so let me share the numbers with you. The study found that alcohol-related crashes increased by 29 percent on Sundays in counties that allowed sales.

    Those additional crashes led to a 42 percent increase in alcohol-related fatalities on Sundays. If we apply these same percentages to Georgia’s highways, using 2006 data from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, we can expect approximate increases of 371 alcohol-related crashes and six alcohol-related fatalities per year.

    No other day of the week saw a statistically significant change in the percentage of alcohol-related crashes and fatalities after the enacted legislation, according to the study. Counties that chose not to participate saw their Sunday accident and fatality statistics remain similar to before.

    The Republican principle of individual freedom is just as important to me as it is to my colleagues in the legislature, but so is the principle of protecting innocent Georgians.

    Click below to continue.

    If you have ever comforted the parents or grandparents of a young person lost in a DUI crash, then you know that the cost of this proposal is too great and the damage it stands to inflict is too heavy a burden for innocent families to bear.

    I know that Georgians expect me as their Governor to do all that I can to make the people of this state as safe as possible. That’s why I have made creating a Safe Georgia one of the cornerstones of my administration, and that’s why I will continue to argue against this legislation out of concern for the safety of every Georgian.

    I urge the members of the General Assembly to heed the warning conveyed in the final sentence of the New Mexico study, “State legislators should consider [the] consequences when deciding on policy that is intended to serve the public well-being.”

    We owe it to the citizens of this state to consider the cause-and-effect of our actions. There is no doubt that this legislation will make Georgia roads more dangerous. We cannot afford to jeopardize people’s lives, nor can we stick our heads in the sand pretending that our actions will have no consequences, even under the guise of letting the people choose.”

  2. CobbGOPer says:

    Also, supporters of the Sunday sales bill are saying the New Mexico study results are faulty. I’ll say. The Robert Woods Johnson foundation is notoriously anti-booze, among other things.

  3. juliobarrios says:

    If you’re going to make the appeal from a safety standpoint, then why save be concerned with only one day a week?

  4. AubieTurtle says:

    Julio, isn’t it obvious? On Sunday people go to church and pretend to be good, love one another and give a damn about their fellow man. God, not being an idiot, sees through all of this. So if one of these people gets killed on Sunday right after going to church, promising to be nice, and then yelling at their children on the way home and then at the bum panhandling in the Wal-Mart parking lot, it screws with their chances of getting into heaven.

    By allowing a full day to pass, it gives God a bit of time to cool down and forgive us our hypocrisy.

    As for those people who attend services on Wednesday too, well, they’re playing with fire (hell fire that is). Those that attend services on some other wacky day like Saturday, well, they were all going to hell anyway so why should Sonny care about saving their souls?

    Who saved our souls from the sin of hypocrisy? Sonny did!

    (will he save himself?)

  5. AubieTurtle says:

    It would be funny if the attempt at invoking the restaurant rule had the opposite effect and caused the Gwinnett Arena to no longer be allowed to sell alcohol on Sunday.

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