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
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.
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.
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.
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