2011: The Year For Sunday Sales?

The topic of alcohol sales on Sunday tends to fire up people. Some pastors get their congregations fired up on how Jesus won’t love you for purchasing and consuming alcohol from grocery/convenience/package stores on Sunday (even though you can do it the other 6 days). Bills have come up before the General Assembly before that would remove the state-wide ban on alcohol sales and and allow for a referendum question put before the counties and municipalities on whether or not to allow alcohol sales on Sunday.

Republicans generally want to try and keep power at the closest level to the individual citizen. I believe allowing each county, rather than the state, to decide on whether or not an individual can purchase alcohol on Sunday is good. Some of my socially conservative friends here in northwest Georgia would object to this, but I don’t really care what decisions an individual makes as long as they do not harm others.  Buying alcohol on Sundays at a grocery store more than likely won’t affect others and would generate some additional revenue.

Governor Deal may sign a “local control” Sunday Sales bill if it passes the General Assembly. The last Sunday Sales bill was introduced by Representative Roger Williams of Dalton, but was opposed to former Governor Perdue. A new governor mixed with the need of additional state revenue might be the perfect storm to get the legislation passed. I’m curious as to the firestorm that could erupt. Deal had a lot of support from social conservatives. I wonder if a loud outcry from them in opposition to Sunday Sales legislation would change his mind.

49 comments

  1. John Vestal says:

    The TRUE conservative ideals of “smaller government” and “local control” are embodied within the proposals allowing for local referendums where alcohol sales are already legal.

    Opposition to such by any calling themselves, “conservative”, is highly hypocritical.

    Personally, I believe this is the session we finally kick this embarrassing law to the curb.

  2. saltycracker says:

    Continuing the ban on Sunday liquor sales is almost as weird as making this the initial conservative statement.

  3. chefdavid says:

    Nathan some of your socially conservative buddies just drive North to Tennessee to buy it. It amazes me how it is alright to drive to a restuarant and drink, thus encouraging some to drink and drive, but it is not ok to buy at a store and drink at your own premise.

    • Nathan says:

      ‘xactly. To me, it would be safer for someone to purchase their alcohol and drink it at home rather than get sloshed at their local restaurant and drive home.

  4. Dagny says:

    As soon as some members of the General Assembly or their families get into the alcohol business it will be passed. Until then – stock up. 🙂

  5. Rick Day says:

    I’m torn on this issue, and as you might guess, it has nothing to do with my casual relationship to any composite myth character.

    I oppose Sunday PACKAGE sales only because they unfairly compete with my convention center business. A convention center can not sell alcohol on a Sunday and that really affects any wedding business we do, as well as a birthday party, concerts, etc.
    Right now I’m renting out to 3 small day church groups on Sunday in the center. (Hell, even teh ghey ministries have the right of assembly, go figure!)
    What I’d like to see is:

    the legislature recognize the existence of businesses known as Convention Centers, and to put it in the same exemption as allowed with the Georgia World Congress Center. Now the GWCC is not ‘officially’ a convention center, although their business is exclusively conventions and events and they are licensed as such under the Atlanta Code. They, along with stadiums, get a Sunday Sale pass as a “auditorium with a fixed seating of 3,500 or more”.

    Bullsh*t. It’s a damn convention center. By that logic, the only Sunday sale allowed is if you can sell THOUSANDS of spirits and beer units, and not dozens and hundreds like poor ol’e Mom and Pop outfits like us. The Jesus would not approve; especially if he does not approve picking up a 6pack at Publix before the Falcon’s game on Sunday.

    Also, as the owner of a large restaurant and entertainment venue next door to the convention center (I TOLD you guys you were voting me tax breaks, but I’m sure you thought I was joking cough*4% income bracket*cough) I want the Sunday drinking hours extended from midnight until 3AM. Why? BECAUSE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THE JESUS WILL BE SAFE AND ASLEEP BY THEN.
    This “Lord’s Day” crap is all very 19th Century and it forces the religious beliefs of others (mob rule by Cross) upon me,fomenting and creating a negative impact on my life and my business.

    Jesus Christ, fix it!
    amen.

      • Rick Day says:

        Like being a Mason, one has to wait until another approaches in order to initiate the Rite.

        Of course everyone is welcome to come out Friday night for free food and drinks from 9p-11p then we start a dance party. I’d rather go through Charlie than spam this fine community with details. Such as our web site at spring4th.com nor other such info like the address at 714 Spring St NW 30308. Nope, not from me!

  6. peach4handel says:

    Well one of the main reason that the Sunday sales bill was not allow to be brought up was because of Cagle. Last year it passed in the house,but Cagle use everything in his power to stop it from coming up in the Senate. I’m hopeful this year to see a Sunday Sale bill pass seeing that the Senate did stripped a Cagle from some of his power. Governor Deal has already said that if a Sunday Sale bill did come to his desk he would sign it into law.

  7. The topic of alcohol sales on Sunday tends to fire up people.

    This is an example of why the “topic” needs changing. All “topics” before government should start with the premise of their main reason for existence and that is to preserve liberty and the guaranteed freedoms of a FREE country and society.

    If anything is to be banned for anytime, government must first show how this thing infringes on another’s rights or is a barrier to pursuit of freedom or happiness that can not be otherwise avoided by simple personal choice (no one is forcing anyone to buy alcohol on Sunday).

    If the GOP or DP elected officials want to regain any credibility as a true defenders of freedom, the main “topic” and approach to any issue before them really does need to start with the premise of this ultimate role preserving freedom and not continue to be the ultimate barrier to it.

    I’m not even sure local government has the right to ban alcohol sales, but at least it would be a step in the correct direction to get rid of the statewide ban.

      • Lady Thinker says:

        I love your wit!!!

        I sometimes wonder if those who cannot make responsible choices for themselves force their views on the rest of us, i.e., the Southern Baptist people.

        My dad was one of their “preachers” and as his motto was, “do as I say, not as I do.” Kinda like government does, like the “No Sales on Sunday” law.

  8. saltycracker says:

    Most PP bloggers are clearly defenders of freedom manifested by these many outrages at ordinances denying them the right to assemble in a most traditional social environment – their local pub.

  9. Jeff says:

    Why I prefer local control:

    At the geographic center of Ga – the furthest point from any nearby State – you are about 170 miles from TN, 140 miles from FL, 90 miles from AL, and 100 miles from SC (as the crow flies).

    Yet you are no more than 17 miles from a neighboring County.

    In Jeffersonville, the nearest City, you are no more than 3 miles from being outside the City.

    3 miles in most cases means your kid will still be in the same school district. At 17 miles, your kid may be changing school districts, but little else would need to change – work, church, friends, etc.

    100 miles, to another State, means that virtually EVERYTHING would have to change, AND you would be in another State with much more for you and your family to adapt to.

    Thus, 3 or even 17 miles is ultimately not that big of a deal. 100+ miles IS a big deal. If a local government screws something up, it is therefore easy to leave. Nowhere NEAR as easy if the State screws something up.

    • Rick Day says:

      local control also increases the likelihood of corruption and graft. Then there are the attorneys and how they fit into a bureaucratic process, don’t get me started!

      “So how much is that license REALLY worth to youm hmmm?”

      also

      “Here’s a little something for the election cycle, just so we can keep competitor X mired in the process long enough to bleed them to death.”

      I’m more for a simplified ‘fill in the blank’ system. Right now it cost about $20,000 plus 3 months time (if not more) to obtain a state and local license. We have to deal with the State Dept of Revenue, the State Alcohol and Tobacco agents, The Federal Court (background check), the city of Atlanta Bureau of Planning, Bureau of Building , Atlanta Police Department and Atlanta Fire and Rescue. If you add an attorney, +$5k and they don’t do anything you can’t do yourself (if your spouse is an actuary or accountant LOL).

      But we are making sooooooooooo much money! grrr

    • Rick Day says:

      dew whut?

      First off, alcohol is not a drug, it’s a potentially toxic solvent.

      Second, you get me the ability to have a medical marijuana permit and I’ll stop selling legal alcohol.

      Third, the First Amendment guarantees the right of Assembly. The State recognizes, with certain STRICT limitations, the ability for a person to allow the sale and consumption of toxic solvents on their premises.

      You must be young, as in perhaps not quite the legal age for consuming solvents. I was making that same argument.

      Most bloggers on here are all for the equalization of cannabis and solvent under the code.

      Yeah, they have it good because they are older than you. They earned it. We are close, but keep working on the goal of ending prohibition, and not extending it.

      Oh, and have a 420 Day 🙂

      • Rick Day says:

        this is what I get for blogging while talking on the phone..

        *I was making that same argument when I was 21 as well. (legal drinking age was 18 back then, sonny)

        *Although First Amendment Rights actually have little to do with the illegal regulation of anything the government is involved with , ergo moot point.

      • chamblee54 says:

        Rick
        The 54 in my stage name is the year I was born. Thanks for the compliment.
        I saw “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” last summer. It is a good thing that did not need the approval of the Lesterslature.

  10. Harry says:

    Absolutely, in reference to Chamblee54. If it were up to me all alcoholics would get mandatory behavior modification along the lines of Alcoholics Anonymous.

  11. Harry says:

    Now kids, let’s face facts. Alcohol poisoning is one of those things we can all live without. It adds nothing to the individual, the family, the community, or society in general. Just say no.

  12. Rick Day says:

    Also, Damn! Just found out I have to pay ASCAP over $6k a year, because, like, we play music AND charge a cover or admission, and they have the Federal Court System backing them up and..all…

    *facepalm*

  13. KD_fiscal conservative says:

    “Now kids, let’s face facts. Alcohol poisoning is one of those things we can all live without. It adds nothing to the individual, the family, the community, or society in general. Just say no.”
    Harry is a great example of what I call a simpleton. These people tend to have underlying reasons(usually religious) for opposing laws. They then proceed to make ridiculous generalized statements as ‘evidence’ to oppose a given law, while avoiding admitting the true reason. But if one stops and thinks about their statements, while they may be true, it becomes clear that they have no bearing on the given debate. In this case, all of the statements from the reactionary can be summed up as “alcohol can lead to bad things.” Ok….. no crap….but will not selling alcohol 1 day out of the week make anything better, of-course not. No reasonable person, even the ones that are against Sunday sales think that problems with “Alcohol poisoning ” or “alcohol addictions” or any other alcohol related problem will actually improve by continuing the ban, nor will it get worse by lifting the ban. The fact is, problem drinks will still find booze no matter what. And even if a one day ban DID help rectify these problems, why not stopping the sell of alcohol on another day….. I think I have an idea why…

    The well known fact is that these people think certain actions are “immoral” and I guess feel like their beliefs are threatened if other commit these “immoral” acts. It troubles me that so many people who call themselves “conservatives” don’t really want “conservative” policies.

    “Republicans generally want to try and keep power at the closest level to the individual citizen.”
    Really? Please explain. As a Republican, I would like to think so, but I’m sure Harry, Ambernappe, chamblee54, saltycracker also tend to vote Republican. And regardless, we already know of many ‘conservative’ Republicans have shown a history of trying to legislate morality .

    Anyway, instead of wasting time arguing with people that will never use their God given intellect to think through issues, a more valid question is: Does this legislation actually have a good chance of being passed through the Ga-Assembly?

  14. Romegaguy says:

    while we are playing around in the alcohol laws can we also get rid of the monopoly 3 tier system that keeps prices high?

  15. Newtonian says:

    This issue has been demonized as an alcohol issue. Its about local control and the right to vote. If the legislature passes this, NO sales will occur unless the local jurisdiction first votes to put it on the ballot and then the voters approve, period.

    Save all the demon alcohol arguments to when and if your jusrisdiction should ever consider the issue locally.

  16. I’m sorry, but this shouldn’t even be a question for government. (Here comes my libertarian streak:) I’m not even sure if I believe local governments should be able to ban Sunday alcohol sales.

  17. Kudzu35 says:

    Let’s look at it from a practical standpoint.

    Georgia is covered in military installations where State laws do not apply, specifically the Sunday sale law. Service members, dependents, and retirees can still purchase alcohol at the various shops on military installations. Not to mention, non-military affiliated Georgians who know those of us who are service members often give us cash to purchase their booze.

    That is lost revenue to the state. Yes people will drive out of their way on Sunday to buy beer or liquor on post. You know it, I know it, hell I DO it.

    Remove Sunday Sales laws or at least give it to local control, it makes no sense…

  18. bowersville says:

    If a bill is considered in the General Assembly to allow municipal and county governments to consider putting a referendum before the voters to consider alcohol sales on Sunday, the same bill should make it available to local governments to charge more in license fees for establishments that sale alcohol on Sunday. Or better yet an increased sales tax on Sunday sales that will go into local and state coffers. With electronic sales at the register it shouldn’t be too difficult to program in a 10% additional sales tax for the privilege of buying alcohol on Sunday.

    From a conservative point of view Sunday sales should be presented as allowing local control with the people of each community deciding for themselves what is in their communities best interests. From a Social Conservative point of view it gives those in opposition a rallying cry to rally the troops to the polls in local elections. IMHO, it is possible for a Social Conservative in the General Assembly to vote to allow local control and yet oppose Sunday Sales and vote NO on the local level.

  19. Jeff says:

    In the same election that saw Mike Keown – a Baptist preacher – pull 4K votes from Lee County, there were two ballot questions regarding alcohol sales in Leesburg. By the drink, and by the drink on Sunday.

    Keown got 924 votes in Leesburg.

    By the drink M-Sat had 708 people vote, with 476 voting FOR.

    By the drink Sunday had 712 people vote, and passed with 371 votes (to 341). Both of these out of a registered voter count of 1516.

    In a town dominated by either the local UMC or the local Southern Baptist church (both are roughly equal in size here), with a Southern Baptist preacher being one of the primary draws on the ballot (saw FAR more Keown signs than Deal in Lee County, and particularly in Leesburg), Sunday Sales STILL passed, even in Hicksville.

    Honestly, I think the talibaptists are running scared on this issue, and I agree – now is the time to strike.

  20. Harry says:

    I wonder if we should allow individual communities to decide if prostitution is legal? After all, it’s more a victimless crime than alcoholism.

    • KD_fiscal conservative says:

      Harry, here we go again. I shouldn’t even waste my time, replying but you once again proved my point. You continue to make ridiculous non-relevant statements. I challenge you to answer my original question, “will not selling alcohol[or specifically, as Kudzu35 pointed out, not being ALLOWED to sell] 1 day out of the week[as a mandatory requirement, that day must be Sunday] make anything [alcohol related problems] better?”

      But once again, you have an underlying(religious) reason, for opposing Sunday sales so nothing I, or anyone else says, will ever change your opinion. While I respect your views, I see no reason you must try to mandate others follow those same views.

      For the rest of, lets just hope there aren’t enough “Harry’s” out there to cause a stir, if this ever gets through the legislator.

      • Harry says:

        I am anti-alcohol. It’s a poison. We regulate poisons. In my opinion, we need to tighten, not loosen restrictions on the sale of it. Full disclosure: I’m not presently active in organized religion. Are you presently active in the alcohol industry?

        • B Balz says:

          Harry,

          I am utterly amazed how much time is spent talking about buying booze one extra day a week. It is pretty ridiculous to me. I understand the Lib angle, the business angle, and even the freedom angle. I also understand many people HATE it.

          Look at all of the harm, damage, destruction, booze brings to the table. I hear your point of view, and frankly it has great value.

          Society is so permissive today and look at the messes we have created, irrespective of booze. Get drugs like meth, heroin, etc. in the mix and we are on the way to legalizing zombies.

          Anyone who drinks and still has a roof over their head ought to thank all that is good and mighty that they do not walk the path of Bill W.

          In moderation, booze is fine. For those that enjoy that sort of thing. Booze ought not be illegal, but it ought not be advertised on I-75 either.

        • Lady Thinker says:

          Harry,

          In the event you ever have a heart attack, you may find your cardiologist recommending that you drink a glass of red wine a day to prevent future heart attacks. One glass, not one bottle. France has a low heart attack rate, the USA is higher and the french each all those rich sauces.

          Anything can be abused but using wine as medicine is not one of those vices unless one allows wine to become a vice.

  21. KD_fiscal conservative says:

    Sorry about the incorrect assumption, but still the fact remains, poison or not, that ONE day will not reduce the problems associated with alcohol. I am also a full believer in individual responsibility. No one is going to make you drink if you choose not to(personally I rarely, if ever, indulge).

    [Full disclosure: My family does in fact have a stake in the alcohol retail industry, and Sunday sales WOULD increase revenue. So I will continue to lobby our State Legislators…]

    • B Balz says:

      KD_fc:

      Kudus for your disclosure. Personal responsibility is fine until one becomes ‘powerless over alcohol’. To your point, one day doesn’t make a difference.

      I buried my friends Johnny and Bob, and I you are absolutely correct, Sunday sales did not kill them.

      I like the fact we cannot buy booze on Sunday. I support a local referendum, and would vote against 7-Day sales.

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