Council Committee Recommends Sunday Alcohol Sales

Jul 13, 2017

The Charlotte City Council's Economic Development Committee has recommended that the full city council change city rules to allow alcoholic beverage sales on Sunday mornings. The proposal will be up for a vote July 24.

The recommendation follows the state legislature's approval of the so-called "brunch bill" on June 30. It allows local governments to decide whether to allow sales of beer, wine and mixed drinks beginning at 10 a.m. Sundays, instead of the current noon.

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Committee member Ed Driggs has been a big supporter of the idea. At Thursday's committee meeting, he drew a laugh with a jab at state lawmakers, who in recent years have passed measures to restrict local authority, not expand it. .  

"I'd like to express appreciation to the General Assembly for actually giving local governments some autonomy," he said. 

Driggs said afterward he understands some people may object to alcohol sales during a traditional time for Christian worship, but he thinks the change is appropriate.

"People should be allowed to practice their religion and to drink or not to drink in accordance with their own conscience, which is what I referred to here. And therefore I welcome this opportunity to create that choice," Driggs said. 

Council member Kenny Smith is not a member of the Economic Development Committee, but he was there Thursday to show his support for the change. He said it would allow brunch-hour drinks during the Professional Golf Association Championship, which is at Quail Hollow Club next month. 

Since the bill became law, nearly two dozen local governments around the state have already adopted rules changes to allow Sunday alcohol sales. They include the Mecklenburg County and the Town of Huntersville.  At least 15 more have scheduled votes in the coming weeks. 

The rules change does not apply to county ABC stores, which sell liquor by the bottle. They're covered under a different statute. 

WHERE THE LAW HAS CHANGED 

Charlotte officials provided this list of which North Carolina local governments have adopted changes allowed under the "brunch bill," and those planning to vote soon: 

PASSED ALREADY 

  • Meck County
  • Hyde County
  • Hendersonville
  • Beaufort
  • Yadkinville
  • Beech Mountain
  • Bald Head Island
  • Huntersville
  • Banner Elk
  • Carrboro
  • Surf City
  • Atlantic Beach
  • Southern Shores
  • Blowing Rock
  • Raleigh
  • Kitty Hawk
  • Troutman
  • Chapel Hill
  • Wrightsville Beach
  • Carolina Beach
  • Seven Devils

GOVERNMENTS CONSIDERING THE CHANGE

  • Asheville - July 25
  • Winston-Salem - Aug or Sept
  • Greensboro - July 18
  • Durham - July 27
  • Wilmington - July 18
  • New Hanover County - August
  • Orange County - TBA
  • Hillsborough - TBA
  • Wake County - TBA
  • Pinehurst - July 25
  • Mebane - TBa
  • Boone - July 20
  • Kure Beach - TBA
  • Cornelius - July 17
  • Matthews - August