Georgia lawmakers OK home delivery of alcohol, send to Kemp

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ATLANTA (AP) – Georgians could soon get alcohol delivered to their doorstep under a bill headed to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk.

The state House gave final approval to legislation Thursday allowing packaged goods retailers to make home deliveries of beer, wine and liquor. House members approved of the bill 114-45.

Under the bill, only alcohol in “unbroken packages” could be sold via delivery. Buyers would have to set up an account with the store, pay in advance of the delivery and present an ID to be scanned or otherwise verified at their door.

“It’s actually a safer and more documented process to make a purchase through delivery than it is at the counter in any retailer,” said Rep. Brett Harrell, a Republican from Snellville who sponsored the bill.

Not all lawmakers were passing the bubbly.

“Is it not true that this is another liquor bill that our teetotaler committee needs to be aware of?” Rep. Randy Nix, a Republican from LaGrange, said during the House debate.

“We have ‘no’ votes on all alcohol bills, and I respect the people that choose to vote that way,” Harrell responded.

Local governments would be allowed to pass ordinances prohibiting home delivery of alcohol if they choose to, under the bill.

The state Senate passed the proposal by a vote of 42-9 on Tuesday, after making several changes to the House bill, including allowing for the delivery of liquor. A previous version from the House only allowed for delivery of beer and wine.

While it was introduced in February, the bill has gained renewed interest since the coronavirus pandemic has forced people to cut down on trips out of the house. Several local governments in Georgia, including the City of Atlanta, have issued administrative orders allowing home delivery of alcohol by restaurants during the pandemic.

The bill would also permit alcohol tastings in liquor stores.

If signed by the governor, it would instantly become law.

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