The Georgia Alcohol Dealers Association is a statewide trade association founded in 1973 to protect the integrity of the independently owned package liquor store in Georgia. GADA staff work closely with the Georgia General Assembly during the legislative session at the beginning of each calendar year and continue to work with individual legislators throughout the rest of the year at political fundraisers and events.

2015 Legislative Session Recap

The 2015 Georgia Legislative Session has officially come to a close, and though there were some tough battles, GADA is very pleased with the outcome. GADA lobbyists were faced with a multitude of issues this year, but the biggest threat by far was the repeal of the 35% requirement to call a referendum to either “wet” or “dry” a local governing authority. (Georgia law currently requires 35% of the local registered voters to sign a petition to call a referendum for package liquor sales.) There were five attempts to have this law repealed in committee and/or on the Senate floor.

GA capitol building

A compromise version of Senate Bill 63 passed and will now allow Breweries and Distillers to give away a souvenir container (one 750ml of distilled spirits or up to 72 ounces of beer) of the product being manufactured on the premises, only after a person takes a guided tour of the facility. The bill was a huge win for brewpubs by allowing them to can and bottle beer onsite, potentially making more Georgia beer available through the three-tier system. Unlike previous versions of SB63, this version is widely supported by all three tiers of the industry as it does not allow for retail package sales, nor does it impact the three-tier system.

House Bill 152 calls for the added definition of a bar to Georgia’s Alcohol Beverage Code (Title 3) wherein 75% or more of the retailer’s revenue must be derived from the sale of alcoholic beverages. The bill also prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from being employed at an establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold. Likewise, it prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from entering a bar unless that person is accompanied by a parent or attending a musical event.

The Senate added an amendment to this bill, prohibiting the manufacturing or sale of powdered alcohol in Georgia. Though the bill passed in both Houses, a legal challenge is expected on the portion of the bill that requires an individual to be 21 years old in order to be employed where alcohol is sold. (A similar previous challenge against a city of Atlanta ordinance found in favor of the bars and the under 21 year old employees.)

A couple of bills that did not pass include the Title 3 recodification bill that would have clarified a lot of the language in the Alcohol Beverage Code and a Sunday consumption on premise sales bill referred to as the “brunch bill” that would have allowed for restaurants to serve alcohol starting at 10:30 A.M. on Sundays. Currently a local governing authority can authorize Sunday consumption on premise sales, including distilled spirits, after 12:30 P.M.

GA capitol statue

Many other issues were discussed throughout this year’s Session, including several conversations about the repeal of the two-store limitation law, wine tastings, and a host of other issues that would negatively affect all package liquor retailers in Georgia. An earlier GADA Membership survey indicated that responding members were evenly divided on the subject of wine tastings in liquor stores. Specific qualifications to be resolved during the 2016 Session include who pays for liquor liability, who pays for the product being tasted, and which control mechanisms need to be in place.

Over all, GADA had a very successful Session and will now turn its focus to attending legislative events and fundraisers in preparation for the 2016 Legislative Session.

Powdered alcohol ban now covers 31 US states

Source: The Spirits Business by Melita Kiely Powdered alcohol has now been outlawed in 31 US states and California legislators are hoping to become the latest addition to the list. Alcohol Justice reported 31 states have now legislated or regulated total bans on powdered alcohol and the California Assembly unanimously passed AB1554 this week in … Continue reading Powdered alcohol ban now covers 31 US states

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‘Ground-breaking’ drug could treat alcohol addiction

Source: The Spirits Business by Annie Hayes 15th April, 2016 A drug currently used to treat angina and high blood pressure has been proven to reduce binge drinking in an “internationally significant” breakthrough. Established beta blocker pindolol was proven to reduce alcohol consumption, particularly in relation to binge drinking, according to a study from Queensland … Continue reading ‘Ground-breaking’ drug could treat alcohol addiction

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Wine-drinking mothers getting implants to quit

Source: The Independent 17/04/2016 Dr Hugh Gallagher, a GP co-ordinator in the HSE addiction service, told the Sunday Independent that an implant, containing a drug called Naltrexone, is the new go-to treatment for women in their 30s, 40s and 50s who have developed a dependency on alcohol. Warning against the wine-drinking culture of ‘ladies who … Continue reading Wine-drinking mothers getting implants to quit

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Here’s What Moderate Alcohol Consumption Really Looks Like

And six simple tips for practicing it.  Source: U.S. News By Toby Amidor April 15, 2016 Although you may think you’re consuming a moderate amount of alcohol, your eyes – and the vessel in which your drink is served – can play tricks on you. Since April is Alcohol Awareness Month, it’s a good time … Continue reading Here’s What Moderate Alcohol Consumption Really Looks Like

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