Dalton puts Sunday alcohol sales on ballot

Dalton puts Sunday alcohol sales on ballot

May 3rd, 2011 by Mariann Martin in News

Javier Espitia, left, buys two packs of Coronita Extra from Jennifer Crisp, a cashier at Cox's Spirits, in Dalton, Ga. Staff File Photo by Allison Carter/Chattanooga Times Free Press

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DALTON, Ga. - The decision whether to allow Sunday retail sales of beer and wine inside the city limits will now be up to Dalton voters.

The City Council voted unanimously Monday to place it on the ballot in November.

The referendum, if approved, would allow for beer and wine to be sold between 12:30 and 11:30 p.m. Dalton currently allows liquor by the drink to be sold on Sundays.

Georgia had a ban on Sunday retail liquor sales until the General Assembly passed a bill in April to allow local governments to put the option on the ballot if they chose.

The resolution passed by the council Monday evening initially included distilled spirits, or hard liquor. But Councilwoman Denise Woods made a motion to remove distilled spirits from the referendum, which was approved.

Woods said her decision to remove the option of distilled liquor came after the city polled the eight liquor store owners in the city. Four said they did not want to be open on Sunday, three said they did and one did not respond to the question.

"No need to push it if the owners don't even want it," Woods said. "I think some voters may be more likely to approve wine and beer sales than hard liquor.

Woods said stores will still have the choice of not selling alcohol on Sunday if they decide not to.