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County government authorizes Sunday alcohol sales in Athens for New Year’s Eve

By Joe Johnson

New Year's Eve this year might fall on a Sunday, but local officials made plans in advance to ensure that the tradition of ringing in the New Year by raising a glass or two won't be stymied by Georgia's blue laws.

In December 2022 the Athens-Clarke County Mayor and Commission adopted a resolution that allows for the extended sale of alcoholic beverages on New Year's Eve 2023 through early the following day.

The Official Code of Georgia generally prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays. However, state law also provides that local governments may authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on one Sunday during each calendar year.

Under that authority, the Mayor and Commission has designated New Year's Eve to be the city's exempted Sunday each year. The enabling resolution similarly allows for alcohol sales on St. Patrick's Day 2024, which will also be on a Sunday.

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