It’s Crossover Day at the Georgia state capitol, when hundreds of bills are voted on by either the House or Senate, paving the way for each to eventually become law. This includes House Bill 879, a bill that would allow for home delivery of beer and wine in Georgia.
HB879 already passed the House, 110 to 54, on Tuesday, March 10. It now heads to the state Senate, which has until the end of the legislative session on April 3 to vote yay or nay. If passed, HB879 then heads to the desk of Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to sign into law. However, concerns over the spread of COVID-19 in Georgia, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, could alter the latter part of this legislative session’s schedule.
The bill would allow for home delivery of beer and wine from grocery and convenience stores, as well as from alcohol ordering apps like Minibar. However, package stores are not included in the bill, and liquor would still need to be purchased in person.
One sticking point for some lawmakers remains how to keep booze deliveries out of the hands of teens. HB879 requires alcohol home deliveries to only be accepted by someone 21 years or older and with proper ID.
HB879 stands a good chance of passing the General Assembly, as Georgia’s antiquated alcohol laws continue to be reformed and new bills loosen restrictions on alcohol around the state.
In 2017, former Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 85 into law, allowing breweries and distilleries to sell directly to consumers and doing away with having to conduct paid tours of facilities in order to partake in beverage samples on site.
Then in May 2018, Deal signed Senate Bill 17, known as the “Sunday Brunch bill” or “Mimosa Mandate”, into law. It pushed back the Sunday sale of alcohol at restaurants to 11 a.m. from 12:30 p.m. The measure was then voted on by the public in a series of community referendums.
Eater Atlanta is following the progress of HB879. Check back for updates.