Print this Page

Forgot Password?

Like Spirits?

Like DISCUS on Facebook

Stay updated on the latest issues impacting the spirits industry. The DISCUS Facebook page contains news clips, action alerts and opportunities to get involved. Like us now!

read more

There's no beverage of moderation, only the practice of moderation.

Understanding Moderation

Part of responsible drinking is understanding that a standard drink of beer, distilled spirits and wine each contains the same amount of alcohol. It's not what you drink, it's how much that counts.

read more

There's no beverage of moderation, only the practice of moderation.

Committed to Responsibility

For more than 75 years, the spirits industry has adhered to a rigorous set of standards for beverage alcohol advertising and marketing. Click here to learn more about the Code.

read more

Editorial: It's past time for action on Sunday alcohol sales

February 26, 2009 07:00 PM

It's at least conceivable a vast majority of the 13-member state Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee - all but two, to be exact - had legitimate reasons for missing a Wednesday meeting at which they'd been scheduled to vote on sending a Sunday alcohol sales bill to the Senate floor.

It's also conceivable, however, that the committee of nine Republicans and four Democrats simply is stalling a bill that could become politically problematic for them and their General Assembly colleagues in the upcoming 2010 elections.

It wouldn't be the first time the bill has been bottled up, so to speak. It has failed to get action in the previous two General Assembly sessions.

Senate Bill 16, sponsored by Sen. Seth Harp, R-Midland, isn't a particularly complex piece of legislation. It proposes to allow residents of cities and counties across the state the opportunity to decide whether they want to be able to buy alcohol in retail stores after noon on Sundays, if their local government is willing to call for a referendum on those sales.

During recent legislative sessions, the bill has found legislators waffling among teetotaling conservatives who don't want alcohol available in stores on the Christian holy day, retailers who say they are losing out on potential sales, and the large number of Georgians who simply want a voice in the matter. This year, discussion of the bill is attenuated by the ongoing economic downturn, which has - or should have - legislators scrambling to find any new streams of tax revenue such as Sunday alcohol sales might bring.

Here, briefly, are how the numbers in favor of Sunday store sales of alcohol break down:

  • Earlier this month, an official with Publix, one of Georgia's largest supermarket chains, told The Associated Press the sale of beer and wine at grocery stores on Sundays would result in $1.4 million in extra excise taxes and at least $3.3 million in new sales tax revenue.
  • A widely referenced InsiderAdvantage poll undertaken when the issue first surfaced in the General Assembly found 58 percent of Georgians wanted an opportunity to cast a ballot on the issue, a number that rose to 66 percent when respondents were told that only two other states - Connecticut and Indiana - don't allow Sunday store sales of alcohol.

On the other side of the issue, opponents of Sunday store sales relied last year on a widely debunked study done in New Mexico - where voters approved Sunday alcohol sales in 1995 - that purported to show a subsequent increase in alcohol-related traffic accidents and fatalities. This year, opponents opted for an even less convincing approach, bringing a few dozen teenagers into a recent Senate hearing on the bill to make the dubious argument that allowing Sunday store sales would somehow make it easier for young people to illegally buy alcohol, by extending the time it would be available to them.

READ MORE

CONTACT: Telephone: SCROLLER Publication Name: Athens Banner Herald Publication Author: Editorial
 

Back

 
© 2017 Distilled Spirits Council of the United States | Equal Opportunity Employer
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Inc., prohibits discrimination in its programs on the basis of race, religion, national origin, age, gender, disability, or other protected status.