Voters will decide Tuesday if the sale of alcohol will be allowed in Bulloch County on Sundays. The question of allowing beer and wine sales in convenience and grocery stores is on the ballot in Statesboro, Brooklet, Portal and the county. City of Statesboro voters have the additional question of allowing restaurants to sell beer, wine and liquor on Sundays.
We believe the economic benefit to area businesses is the overriding issue and we support a "Yes" vote on the Sunday sales referendum in the three municipalities and countywide.
The question of whether to allow Georgians to buy alcohol on the Sabbath has been long debated, with lobbyists on both sides spending thousands of dollars to persuade lawmakers. For years, former Gov. Sonny Perdue threatened to veto any bill supporting Sunday sales. But in the 2011 session, those in favor of Sunday sales were encouraged by the arrival of Gov. Nathan Deal, who signaled he would support allowing citizens to settle the matter, calling the legislation autonomy instead of morality.
In the six months since the bill became law, 98 cities and 12 counties voted to put a Sunday sales question on the ballot.
The difficult economic times that have gripped the nation since the recession started in 2007 has affected Bulloch businesses like everyone else. Passage of the alcohol referendums throughout the county would keep residents looking to watch football and enjoy a beer or a drink here instead of driving to Savannah. Restaurants also would be able to offer a drink with Sunday dinner. That means businesses will see increased revenue and the county and city will see the same in the form of collecting more sales tax.
National statistics show no increase in alcoholism or DU related accidents in areas that allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays. The sad fact is people who abuse alcohol will do so whether it's Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday.
The Statesboro Herald supports a "Yes" vote to allow the Sunday sale of alcohol in Statesboro and Bulloch County.