Buying alcohol on Sundays is one step closer to becoming a reality. Yesterday, the bill sailed through the House and now it's up to Governor Nathan Deal to approve the controversial measure before leaving it up to voters.
Several liquor store owners in Middle Georgia say Sundays and alcohol sales just don't mix. Carl Yockman, owner of 74 Package Store, says he already works a 70 hour work week without being open a seventh day. He says, "[It's] that one day off that I have I just look so forward to. We were hoping that it wouldn't pass."
After years of Sunday alcohol bills failing, this is the first time lawmakers have served up an agreement, which could give consumers 7 days instead of six to buy alcohol in stores.
The possibility has left liquor store owners concerned about the added day. Bass Package Owner, Lucky Punjabi, says, "People are not going to start drinking more." He says the extra day will hurt his business. He says, "It will cost me more money, because I've got to find a laborer. I work 6 days a week. I need a day off too."
According to the Alcohol Association, 90% of Sunday sales would be from beer, and liquor store owners say the bill would only help increase revenue for stores that are already open on Sundays. "I think the convenience stores and the grocery stores are more or less pushing for Sunday sales," says Yockman.
The passage ofthis bill does have supporters. James Vandiver and Mitchell Bunce say they would vote in favor of this measure because of the convenience factor. "As a consumer I would appreciate being able to buy alcohol on Sundays," says, Vandiver.
If Governor Nathan Deal signs the Sunday sales measure it could be on ballots as soon as this Fall, which may leave liquor stores with a dilemma, to either risk money staying closed on Sundays or risk money staying open.
Both Yockman and Punjabi say they won't support the measure if it passes and will stay closed on Sundays.