Generic Beer Photo

Local Athens brewery pours one of their beers on draft for a customer, Tuesday Feb. 5.

Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation Monday allowing stores to deliver alcoholic beverages to people’s homes, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

With more people at home during the spread of COVID-19, many have resorted to online shopping. According to the AJC, businesses like Kroger, Publix and brewpubs have lobbied to expand the availability of products they can sell and produce, including alcohol deliveries. Earlier in the year, restaurants and bars in Athens such as Creature Comforts allowed for walk-up and drive-thru purchases of alcohol.

It may be a few months before stores may be able to deliver alcohol because the Department of Revenue will have to create new regulations regarding alcohol delivery, according to the AJC.

With the new bill, Georgia House Bill 879, stores would be able to deliver alcohol to doorsteps, as long as there is a person with identification proving they are 21 years or older to pick up the order.

The person receiving the delivery must sign a written or electronic signature on a receipt, have their ID scanned or otherwise verified, and have their name and birthdate recorded and be available for inspection upon request for three years, according to the legislation. Current regulations present in the legislation include that delivery drivers must be at least 21 years old, have completed approved training and have completed a background check in the last 12 months, among other requirements.

The law will allow for municipalities to opt out of the delivery of alcoholic beverages, and whether restaurants can participate will depend on the local laws for their business, according to the AJC.

Regulations also prohibit the knowing delivery of alcohol to elementary and secondary schools, prisons, substance abuse facilities, lockers, mailboxes or any retailers, according to the legislation.

The bill also provides for a centralized, statewide application process for applications and renewals of liquor licenses. This process will be developed by January 2021, according to the bill. The purpose of this change is to create a more uniform and streamlined process that fits the needs of both the state and local governments.

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