The once-controversial topic of Sunday alcohol sales apparently is getting little attention in the days before the election.
On Nov. 8, voters in cities and counties across the state, including Dunwoody and Chamblee, will be asked to vote on whether to allow package sales of beer, wine and liquor on Sundays.
In years past, supporters were defeated by the hard-line stance of former Gov. Sonny Perdue, who promised to veto any bill that would allow alcohol sales on Sunday. But now that local governments are able to put the issue before voters, the fuss seems to have calmed down.
In north DeKalb County, the most visible campaigning came from Total Wine, a Perimeter area beer and wine retailer, which has been encouraging people through signs, emails and ads in local newspapers to vote in favor of the referendum.
“We’ve done a variety of different things to be able to educate and be able to inform residents of Dunwoody that Sunday sales is on the ballot,” said Edward Cooper, vice president for government and community relations.
He said Total Wine has been very upfront in its support of the referendum.
“Sunday sales is really a customer convenience issue,” Cooper said. “We’re hopeful and optimistic that the voters of Dunwoody will vote for convenience.”
Some churches have decided not to voice public opposition to Sunday sales.
Brian Dale, senior pastor at Kingswood United Methodist Church in Dunwoody, said the church urges people not to drink alcohol and having the option to purchase it one more day a week will not change that.
“In the Methodist church, the official line on the use of alcohol is that we discourage the use of alcohol not because we think liquor is evil, but because we believe the abuse of alcohol is a social ill,” Dale said. “It is a social position rather than a theological position.”
Dale said he does not plan to endorse a position on the referendum.
“I’m prepared to discuss it with anyone who’s interested, but I wasn’t going to preach on it or make a big deal of it,” Dale said. “I don’t really think it’s going to change our actual consumption patterns. I don’t think it’s going to change our lives or corrupt our culture or anything like that.”