Brookhaven has approved new criteria for obtaining alcohol licenses in the city. 

At a Tuesday meeting, the Brookhaven City Council amended part of the alcoholic beverages section of its city code to allow for new qualifying and disqualifying criteria. The first change would remove a single Driving Under the Influence misdemeanor charge as a disqualifying measure for a potential employee looking to obtain a pourers permit. 

The code prohibits giving a license to someone who has been convicted within the previous five years for a multitude of offenses, including dealing in narcotics, sex offenses, or any charge related to manufacturing or selling liquor. That list used to include a DUI, which City Attorney Chris Balch said is almost always the issue in question.

“The existence of that single DUI is almost always what that offense is,” Balch said. “As long as the defendant has completed their probation successfully, they don’t reoffend, and they have just that one mark on their record, it seems appropriate and prudent to remove that as a basis for denying a pourer’s permit.” 

The second change would allow the city to deny an alcohol license to any person who submits an application if that applicant has provided false information in a separate application for a building permit, a business license, or something else. 

“What our experience has shown us is that there’s a recidivism that happens with our permitting process, and the more we can weed out places and applicants where there’s been a problem or a repeated problem, the better off we are with our alcohol license establishment,” Balch said. 

A spokesperson for the city did not respond to questions about whether a specific situation necessitated the need for the second change in time for publication. 

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.