THOMASVILLE — On Monday, Thomasville City Council will take initial steps to address state legislation allowing home delivery of alcoholic beverages.
Allowable beverages are beer, wine and liquor in sealed packages delivered by package goods retailers.
City Attorney Tim Sanders told council members that unless they pass an ordinance prohibiting home deliveries, retail businesses holding appropriate alcoholic beverages licenses may deliver the beverages as long as they meet requirements of the statute.
Package goods retailers include grocery and convenience stores and restaurants.
Delivery personnel would be required to meet certain requirements, including training, Sanders told council members at a Wednesday workshop.
The council, he said, could prohibit delivery of distilled spirits and allow delivery of beer and wine — "or you could prohibit all of it," Sanders said.
The city attorney said it is his interpretation of the law that if a delivery law violation occurred, the council could not take action against the alcoholic beverage holder for whom the delivery was made.
However, Sanders said, the city probably could suspend the delivery license.
"You could build up your own regime," Sanders told the council.
Council members pointed out the possibility of alcoholic beverages being delivered to underage persons.
Council member Todd Mobley said he favors a moratorium on delivery to give the council time to gather information.
Council members will consider establishing a moratorium on deliveries at a 6 p.m. meeting Monday.
Council member Jay Flowers also backs a moratorium.
Flowers said a downtown restaurant owner told him their business would not deliver alcoholic beverages to homes. Paying a delivery service would cut into the restaurant's profits, the council member said.
Flowers received a similar reaction at one of Thomasville's larger package stores.
"They can't see that it makes financial sense," Flowers said.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820