Bureau Chief

ATLANTA — Georgians are one step closer to being able to order home deliveries of beer, wine and distilled spirits.

The state Department of Revenue has issued rules governing home deliveries of alcohol based on legislation the General Assembly passed in June.

Interested liquor stores, supermarkets, convenience stores and restaurants will have to demonstrate to the revenue department they can meet the requirements of the new rules and gain the agency’s approval before they can begin offering home deliveries.

The revenue department has published an extensive set of rules governing home deliveries of adult beverages, including the agency’s enforcement powers and requirements for delivery drivers.

“The Department of Revenue has done an outstanding job putting together regulations that prioritize the safe sale, secure transportation and timely delivery of alcohol to residents who are over the age of 21 throughout the state,” said KC Honeyman, executive director of the Wine and Spirit Wholesalers of Georgia.

The bill, which Gov. Brian Kemp signed last month, gives local governments the ability to opt out of home deliveries if they choose.

As the legislation went through the General Assembly, supporters argued legalizing home delivery of alcoholic beverages was particularly timely in the midst of a global pandemic that kept wary Georgians sticking close to home.

The bill also expands the current state law allowing tastings of beer, wine and sprits from just wineries and distilleries to package stores.

Another provision broadens the so-called “Sunday brunch” law the General Assembly passed in 2018 allowing restaurants, hotels and wineries to serve alcoholic beverages on premises starting at 11 a.m. on Sundays. The new law sets the same Sunday hours for sales of liquor by grocery stores for off-premises consumption.

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