AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Soon you might start seeing fewer people at the liquor store because alcohol delivery may be an option in Georgia. Some say the alcohol delivery proposal is a good idea while others say not so fast.
“It sounds convenient for someone who’s on their couch going, ‘oh my gosh, we can just have alcohol delivered,” said Andrew Fowler.
State Representative Brett Harrell, a Republican and the author of House Bill 879 said the idea of alcohol delivery in the Peach State began about two years ago.
He explained, “It started as a response, first to consumer demand. And then secondly, try to help the business meet what their customers are asking for.”
“I hope that bill goes through now. We want that bill to go through, as a small retailer,” said Pranav Patel, manager at Liquor Locker.
But some aren’t sure about getting the hard stuff delivered right to your door.
“I fear it may take away from our business because people won’t be coming out as much because they can sit and home and get it. Instead of going out,” said Roshond Boone, bartender at Soul Bar.
Mikhil Desai added, “Food delivery and the alcohol service industry should go hand in hand. Because we live in the South and we have stringent laws on alcohol, that’s the only reason they’re treated differently. But really, all the people I’ve ever met, the way they see food delivery and alcohol delivery is pretty much synonymous.”
“One of the app manufacturers that supplies this service in other states, in calendar year 2019 had 400,000 requests for home delivery of alcohol products in the State of Georgia. And obviously had to say no to every one of those requests,” said Rep. Harrell.
However, that may all change soon if House Bill 879 is signed into law. It has passed the legislature and is waiting to be signed by Governor Kemp.
Products can only be delivered during the lawful, selling hours of alcohol. Bottles must come off the shelves at stores and delivered in the same taxing jurisdiction. To get beer, wine, or liquor delivered to you home, you would have to set up an account with the retailer.
Rep. Harrell explained, “Provide their ID, their address, probably their credit card information, and all of that is retained by the retailer. And made available to local law enforcement and department of revenue, if needed. The person making the delivery has to be background checked. Go through a training program, provide names, addresses, ID, and everything. That person making the delivery is on record.”
You must also show your ID and sign a form when once the alcohol is delivered to you.
“It will be safer because there’s a lot of drunk driving. A lot of DUIs. That will alleviate all that and people really don’t have to out their door to get their booze,” said Patel.
Boone added “Less drunk driving, which is always a good thing. I don’t know, I kind of see it both ways.”
House Bill 879 would also allow alcohol tastings in liquor stores.