BIRMINGHAM (TAB) — Sunday alcohol sales may soon come to Shelby County. Voters will decide March 1 if they want to allow alcohol sales in the county after noon on Sundays.
Both the state House of Representatives and Senate passed the bill allowing the county to vote on Sunday alcohol sales during their respective 2015 legislative sessions.
Although some restaurants in the county do serve alcohol on Sundays, they were grandfathered in by an old law that allowed private club licensing and new businesses are presently prohibited from Sunday alcohol sales.
According to the Shelby County Reporter, Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon is “fully in support” of the legislation on the grounds of economic growth.
“Even as a Christian, I support [Sunday alcohol sales] because legislation can’t be used to dictate moral balance,” she said.
The county’s chamber of commerce has not chosen a side on the issue, but it has commissioned a study examining the impact of Sunday alcohol sales on Shelby County’s economy. Chamber of Commerce Director Kirk Mancer said the results should be released by the end of January, the Shelby County Reporter stated.
Joe Godfrey, executive director of the Alabama Citizens Action Program, is working with local pastors to fight the legislation.
“Will selling alcohol in Shelby County on one more day each week result in a noticeable increase in alcohol-related problems? Probably not. But Sunday alcohol sales, together with all the other expansion of alcohol that is taking place, is already having a negative impact on our culture,” Godfrey said.
“It’s [a] continual expansion. It’s Sunday alcohol sales. It’s higher quantities of beer in a container. It’s higher levels of alcohol in a container. All these things add up and pretty soon you begin to have a major problem with alcohol because it is a mind-altering and addictive drug.”