During its Oct. 15 agenda-setting meeting, the Athens-Clarke County Mayor and Commission discussed raising the minimum drink price in downtown bars from $1 to $2. A Downtown Public Health study recommended the measure, but District 1 Commissioner Patrick Davenport expressed concerns that it could hurt businesses and lower-income people. The Mayor and Commission have not reached a final decision.
While the Mayor and Commission continue to debate, The Red & Black asked University of Georgia students how they felt about such a measure.
Shruthi Vuppala is a senior computer science major.
“I think $1 would be good for drinks. I don’t know what benefits they’re getting from $2 drinks if they’re trying to increase something. But I think $1 drinks are a pretty good deal because it’s a college town … We’re all college kids, and it’s part of the culture to go out … To keep it going, it would be better to keep $1 drinks. [Raising the minimum price] would restrict more people from going out … It’s better to keep the sales going.”
Abir Saberi is a junior journalism major.
“I used to live in downtown. I know one thing that was really annoying is that, especially on Thursday and Friday nights, it can be really hard to just have some peace and quiet or be able to just walk home and not have to worry about people being drunk … It’s not a significant increase in price, but I wonder if that would just hinder the number of people that we would see going out.”
Jessica Lambert is an English Ph.D. student.
“I have mixed feelings about it. I’d have to know more about the reasoning. If it’s just a gimmick to get more money, no they don’t need to do that. If there’s been a problem with alcohol-related injuries I’m not aware of and the money could be used to offset that, then I could be OK with that.”
AJ Murray is a junior political science major.
“I would imagine that a lot of people would probably drink more at home and pre-game then go downtown. I get the feeling that there could be some consequences for people drinking and then going, especially if they don’t call an Uber, taxi or get a friend to drive them.”
Priyank Malviya is a master’s student studying computer science.
“I don’t think $1 should be that big a deal … Considering that it’s a student town, I assume that everyone has enough money to give one extra dollar, maybe, if it’s to generate some revenue, so I think it’s totally fine.”
CORRECTION: In a previous version of this article, AJ Murray's quote was miswritten. The Red & Black regrets these errors.