Sandy Springs package retailers – including restaurants with package licenses – can start home delivery of alcohol in an ordinance change approved by City Council on Nov. 17 that also extended Sunday sales hours.

Georgia House Bill 879, which became law in August, allows authorized package retailers to deliver alcohol to homes and enables the extension of Sunday sales of alcohol by 30 minutes.

The law allows restaurants and liquor stores to delivery wine and malt beverages, and stores can also deliver distilled spirits.

Sandy Springs permit-holders can begin delivery of wine and malt beverages as long as they provide the city with a letter of intent to provide the service. The ordinance went into effect immediately, so permit-holders only need to make sure the city gets their letter to begin deliveries.

The council also approved starting Sunday alcohol sales a half-hour earlier. The new Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to midnight, rather than the previous 11:30 a.m. start.

City Attorney Dan Lee said the delivery businesses will be responsible for checking that customers are of legal age. While a server at a business must be at least 18 years old to sell alcohol for consumption, the new state law requires those persons delivering alcohol to homes must be at least 21 years old, he said.

The alcohol ordinance change is permanent and not tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee said. While the changes may help businesses affected by the pandemic, the state bill was introduced and passed by the House of Representatives prior to the shutdowns earlier this year.

Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Reporter Newspapers.