Macon voters approve Sunday alcohol sales

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After more than a century-long ban, Macon residents can purchase alcohol on Sundays. Voters approved the referendum 6,782-4,210 on Nov. 8th and it went into effect on Dec. 4, 2011.  According to the Georgia Food Industry Association, 128 cities had an opportunity to change the law last month and 105 of those cities approved it.
While Atlanta residents won’t be able to buy alcohol on Sundays until Jan. 1, 2012, after a vote by city council, notable cities near the city center including Roswell, Woodstock and Sandy Springs did approve the sales.
Cities and counties were free to vote on the decision after lawmakers were unable to garner enough votes to repeal the ban over the whole state of Georgia.
Bibb County commissioners unanimously passed the ordinance, which was the final stepping-stone into Sunday’s historic kick-off.
Georgia is the last Southern state to still implement this law. Northern holdouts of the Sunday sales include Indiana and Connecticut.
Georgia’s ban has a long history, beginning with its initial prohibition of alcohol in 1908. After prohibition’s inevitable defeat, the Georgia Legislature passed the Sunday sales ban in 1937.  It was passed to adhere to what many believe as a day of worship.
The new bill does come with a price. Many municipalities are preparing to make stores that remain open seven-days-a-week pay a fee. Dunwoody plans on charging an annual fee of $1,100 while Auburn will require $125.
The transition to Sunday sales will not require much effort to those businesses that are already open, such as convenience and grocery stores.

Some liquor stores dipped their feet in the new waters, and were received graciously throughout the day.
Bill Nettleton, owner of Wine Styles, told Fox News Central, “We decided to open up because it is the first day and it’s the Christmas season so we thought we’d try it out and see how things went today.” Nettleton noted that it was a slower day than the usual business of the Monday through Saturday schedule. “People are just not used to going out and buying alcohol on Sunday. It is probably going to take some time and really, I am not really sure if there is any kind of real demand for alcohol on Sunday by the bottle, so we will see.”
Nettleton plans to stay open on Sunday’s throughout the holidays and then decide whether the consumer demand is there to make it worthwhile.
Other liquor stores opted out of the trial run suggesting that the money is not worth having the day off.
Alpesh Patel, manager of Bloomfield Package, told 13WMAZ, “Some people are going to be open, I’ll probably lose some business, it’s not about the money, it’s about the family, quality family time.”
Owners of other stores found that staying closed had economical reasoning.
Maulick Patel, manager of Top Line Spirits told 13WMAZ, “You don’t know how much business it will pull in especially on a Sunday.”
Despite the closing of some stores, many citizens enjoyed the new policy, purchasing drinks at local stores. Some suggested the new policy allows for safer consumption on Sundays, insisting it was better to drink at home than at a bar or restaurant and potentially drive home intoxicated.

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