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25 January 2012

Sunday Alcohol Sales Still Illegal in Fulton County

Last year, voters in eleven Fulton County cities saw the following question on their ballot:

"Shall the governing authority of Fulton County, Georgia be authorized to permit and regulate package sales by retailers of malt beverages, wine, and distilled 34 spirits on Sundays between the hours of 12:30 P.M. and 11:30 P.M.?"

Last November, voters in Alpharetta, Atlanta, College Park, East Point, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Milton, Roswell, Sandy Springs, and Union City all approved Sunday alcohol sales within the limits of their respective city.

Given the overwhelmingly positive response to Sunday alcohol sales at the ballot box last year, it would surprise some to learn that Sunday sales is still illegal in unincorporated Fulton County. Even more surprising is the appearance that people living in unincorporated Fulton County will not even get a chance to say yes or no to Sunday sales at the ballot box.

Cities and counties surrounding Fulton eagerly placed the Sunday sales referendum on the ballot in recent months. But the Fulton County Commission remains inactive towards allowing its unincorporated residents the same choice at the ballot box as Fulton's incorporated residents.

By the end of 2012, unincorporated Fulton County could be an island unto itself. Unincorporated Fulton County could, by the end of this year, be the only area left in metro Atlanta that hasn't even voted on Sunday alcohol sales.

If that happens, it would be a sad reality for people living in unincorporated Fulton County. Sad, because those folks didn't get to say yes. Those folks didn't get to say no. The people in unincorporated Fulton County did not have their say at all. That is sad, but it doesn't have to be that way.

The Fulton County Commission can still call for a referendum on Sunday alcohol sales, and present unincorporated Fulton County with the same question eleven other Fulton County cities faced in 2011.

Shall the governing authority be authorized to permit and regulate package sales by retailers of malt beverages, wine, and distilled 34 spirits on Sundays between the hours of 12:30 P.M. and 11:30 P.M.?