Governor Deal has just signed the bill that will allow bars in Savannah to be open on Sunday, March 16. Bars in Georgia are not generally allowed to be open on Sundays, although restaurants with bars can be. Today’s signature brings to an end a few months of speculation about the proposal.
Some local and state lawmakers would clearly like to see Sunday sales allowed throughout the year.
Here’s the full text of this afternoon’s press release by the City of Savannah:
New State law allows local bars to serve on Sunday, March 16
At 2 p.m. today, Governor Nathan Deal signed into law Senate Bill 318, which will allow bars within Savannah city limits to serve alcohol on Sunday, March 16, between 12:30 p.m. and midnight.
The State’s amendment to Code Section 3-3-7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, applies only to Sundays that fall within the State’s defined “St. Patrick’s Day holiday period” of March 16-18 each year. Previously, State law prohibited Sunday sale of alcohol in bars across Georgia. Restaurants, defined as businesses that derive more than 50 percent of sales from food, can sell alcohol on Sundays with a valid applicable alcohol license.
Savannah City Council already took necessary action when on Feb. 6 it passed a St. Patrick’s Day Festival resolution, which included language to permit bars within city limits to operate during the 2014 Festival, March 14-17, subject to compliance with State law.
Recognizing that this is a new law and a change from standard operation, the City Revenue Department and Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police are working with bar owners to encourage prompt and voluntary compliance with the midnight Sunday sales cut-off. Police and Revenue alcohol sales enforcement staff will be in the field on Sunday to visit open bars and remind owners of their obligation to stop serving at midnight.