Let the People Decide about Sunday Alcohol Sales (Blue Laws)

Georgia is one of only three states that still has a total prohibition on the retail sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays although it appears that a majority of Georgians want to abolish the colonial-era Blue Laws.

A poll by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that over two-thirds of respondents across the state favor ending the prohibition, a proportion that rises to 80% in metropolitan Atlanta.

However, governor Sonny Perdue says he opposes letting citizens vote on whether or not to permit stores to sell beer and wine on Sundays in their communities. “You can’t do government by referendum,“ he argues. This is the same politician who was elected governor by promising to let Georgians vote on what the state flag should be.

Perdue has a long history of anti-alcoholic beverage actions. He vetoed a bill designed to discourage heavy drinking by permitting restaurant patrons to take home resealed, unfinished bottles of wine. The alternative for many diners is to drink “the rest” of the wine rather than leaving it at the restaurant. He also vetoed a bill that would have made it easier for wineries to sell wine at festivals.

In “Let the people decide,” the Savannah Morning News editorialized that the local option law “merits passage, if only because it promotes democracy in action. Giving local control to local people is a good rule of thumb in most cases -- especially this one, because beer and wine consumption is a personal choice.”

Indeed. Let the people decide.

Reference:

  • Let the people decide. Savannah Morning News, January 13, 2007;
  • Salzer, James. Purdue opposes vote on Sunday beer, wine. Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 18, 2007;
  • Purdue pours out more hypocrisy. Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 22, 2007.

filed under: Prohibition

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