City of Athens and Clarke County, GA

12/11/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/11/2023 16:32

New Year's Eve Sunday Alcohol Sales in Bars Authorized by Mayor & Commission Resolution

The Athens-Clarke County Mayor and Commission adopted a resolution in December 2022 that allows the extended sale of alcoholic beverages on New Year's Eve in 2023 from Sunday, December 31, 2023 until 2:30 AM on Monday, January 1, 2024.

The Official Code of Georgia (OCGA) generally prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays. However, OCGA § 3-3-7(r) provides that local governments may authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on one Sunday during each calendar year.

Under this authority, the Mayor and Commission adopted Section 6-3-5(i)(10) of the Athens-Clarke County Code of Ordinances in 2017 that allows Class D (retail liquor), E (retail beer), or F (retail wine) alcohol licensees to sell, serve, and / or permit the consumption of alcoholic beverages as of 12:30 PM on one Sunday each calendar year through 2:30 AM on the following Monday morning.

Each year, the Finance Department sends out a survey to licensed bars as part of the annual license renewal process for owners to provide feedback on their preferred Sunday for alcohol sales in the upcoming year. After reviewing the survey results, the Mayor and Commission approves a resolution annually to designate the day for Sunday sales. In 2022, New Year's Eve was designated as the Sunday during calendar year 2023 when licensees may sell alcohol from 12:30 PM until 2:30 AM the following Monday morning.

For 2024, the Mayor and Commission have designated Sunday, March 17 (St. Patrick's Day) as the Sunday in 2024 with extended alcohol sales through a resolution adopted on December 5, 2023.