If you’ve had a drink on Sunday at your local restaurant, you may have been in violation of state law.
It would appear that county officials may have overlooked a little something when the ordinance was drafted after the county’s voters - in Tyrone, Peachtree City and Fayetteville too- overwhelmingly approved a referendum allowing for the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays.
According to interim county attorney Dennis Davenport, while reviewing the county’s Code of Ordinances as it pertains to alcoholic beverages, they were made aware that, in 2012, the code was amended to permit Sunday sales of alcohol for on-premises consumption and that licences for Sunday sales have been issued for 2013 for multiple businesses operating in unincorporated Fayette County.
The problem is, the referendum that called for Sunday alcohol sales didn’t specifically allow Sunday sales for on-premises consumption, just package sales. Davenport said the question came up in May 2012 about amending the code to allow on premises consumption.
State law provides that the county can’t just approve the consumption on premises portion, but instead has to hold a referendum to allow the on-premises consumption, according to Davenport.
“We issued licenses we didn’t have the legal authority to issue.”
In order to rectify the problem, the board of commissioners must adopt a resolution, based on the approval at the referendum, to authorize the sale of on-premises consumption as soon as possible, since the election superintendent had to issue the call for the election not less than 10 or more than 60 days after the date on which the board adopts the resolution.
Fortunately, said Davenport, there is an election already scheduled for November and this would just be an additional question. Though technically a special election, it would still occur on the same ballot at the November 5 general election.