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ATLANTA -- Yesterday Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill that allows voters to decide whether to allow Sunday alcohol sales, reported Bloomberg. the law takes effect July 1.
Although Georgia restaurants and bars already sell alcohol on Sundays, convenience stores and groceries are currently banned from doing so. The new legislation allows local governments to put the question of whether this should be changed to voters. Some towns, such as Woodstock and Loganville, are already preparing to add the measure to ballots this fall.
Business owners have supported the bill, noting that Sunday is now a busy shopping day for working families. "For grocers, this legislation has always been about providing good customer service," said Kathy Kuzava, president of the Georgia Food Industry Association. "It was our customers who encouraged us to pass local-option legislation, and it was ultimately our customers who are the winners."
The law is "an important step for consumer convenience, market modernization and free enterprise sales in states across the country," added Distilled Spirits Council President Peter Cressy.
Opponents of the legislation argued that Sunday alcohol sales would lead to an uptick in alcohol-related traffic deaths and vowed to fight its approval on local levels.
Gov. Deal said that if the measure comes to a vote in his community, he will vote against it, as CSNews previously reported. He also said that though he chooses not to drink, he supports the right of citizens to decide for themselves and vote accordingly.