Residents of Georgia and those who visit the Peach State may want to read up on its alcohol-related laws before heading out for a drink or making a liquor store run.
Just like the other 49 states, Georgia has some very specific laws governing the sale and purchase of beer, wine and spirits in bars, restaurants and liquor stores.
If you have been arrested for drinking and driving in Georgia, you will want to know what penalties are assigned to those charged with DUI in Georgia, and you will also want to know some of the unique aspects of DUI law for Atlanta residents and those arrested for DUI while visiting.
Sale and Purchase of Alcohol in Georgia
As you probably know, “dry” counties are those that do not permit alcohol sales at all or on certain days and times. Georgia has several dry counties that prohibit the sale and purchase of alcohol in any form on Sundays.
But most counties in Georgia do permit the sale of beer and wine in grocery and liquor stores at any time except between midnight Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday, or between 11:30 p.m. Sunday night and 12:01 a.m. on Monday.
In most counties in Georgia, hard liquor may be sold from 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on Sunday and from 8:00 a.m. and 11:45 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The sale of alcohol on Sundays was not allowed in Georgia until 2011. In a statewide election, each county voted whether to end the Sunday ban; 105 of the 159 counties chose to repeal the law.
Bars must close their doors at 2:00 a.m. in the state of Georgia. There is one unique alcohol sales law in Georgia, and that is when any of the following days fall on a Sunday, alcoholic beverages may be served until 2:30 a.m.:
- New Year’s Eve
- March 16
- The Sunday before Memorial Day
- July 3
- July 4
- The Sunday before Labor Day
DUI in Georgia
Another unique aspect of Georgia law is that if you are arrested for a DUI in Atlanta, you must appear in court the very next day (if arrested on Friday evening through Sunday, you will appear Monday).
Here is some helpful information about DUI law in Georgia and specifically, Atlanta, Georgia:
In July 2017, a judge in Atlanta instituted a case management plan for all Atlanta-area DUI arrests. If your DUI case is pending in Atlanta Municipal Court, you must appear at arraignment (usually scheduled within 24 – 48 hours after arrest), and after your initial court appearance, you are excused from appearing in Atlanta Municipal Court for your DUI case until a final resolution date if you are represented by a criminal defense attorney. The judge who instituted this plan is Judge Herman Sloan, and at the time of this writing, Judge Sloan handled all Atlanta DUI cases.
The penalties for DUI in Georgia are severe and get more severe with each offense. Because of the plan put in place by Judge Sloan, it’s imperative to hire a Georgia criminal defense attorney as soon as you possibly can following your arrest.