Interested in learning about Alabama Liquor Laws (Mobile, Huntsville: sales, to buy)
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Hello. I am doing a research paper concerning liquor laws. What's the deal with the laws in AL? What days and times can you buy? What alcohol by volume % is legal for beer and wine? Can you buy beer/wine in grocery and convenience stores or do you have to go to a state liquor store? Do you have 'dry counties'? I heard that draft beer is illegal unless determined by the county in AL. Is that true? How do your laws compare to the neighboring states?
I'm looking for replies from across the state. I know there are differences depending on where you are exactly, so I'd like to hear from everywhere if possible.
Thanks in advance,
Last edited by keith4gigs; 04-07-2007 at 06:39 PM..
I will try to answer some of your questions about liquor laws. Draft beer is from one area to another accepted. Private license allows clubs to serve liquor on Sundays this means membership.
You do have to buy liquor from the state store. Beer is delivered by the distributors to grocery stores, clubs, and other stores. A privately owned liquor store has to buy from state store only.
You can buy wine from beer or wine distributors or state store. You can not sell alcohol in any stores except private membership clubs on Sunday.
In Florida you can sell after a certain time I THINK 1:00 and clubs do not have to be private to serve on Sunday. Any store licensed can sell after a certain hour.
Florida has to close BY 2:30 am except on Saturday after midnight I am not sure. Alabama can stay open all night except Saturday after midnight unless private club.
Florida has similar license like lottery and cost over 100,000 unless you buy from someone who is selling theirs for about 50,000. If get new one for 100,000 or over you have to wait until one comes available due to limited issuing for liquor don't know about beer and wine. Alabama is totally different and much cheaper to purchase and not limited.
You can buy beer on Sunday's in some counties in AL. The main thing here is whether the county or city is wet. I live in Marshall county which is dry but a city can vote to be wet. Good example is Guntersville, which is in Marshall county where you can buy beer and wine in stores or restaurants. Where I live it is dry but you can drive 15 minutes to Guntersville and buy alcohol. Baldwin and Mobile county are 'wet' and you can buy alcohol on Sunday in most restaurants not just private clubs. It has been a while but I think we bought beer on Sunday in the grocery store there too but on that I could be mistaken. I do remember many years ago you couldn't buy beer on Sunday in restaurants in Mobile county so if you wanted a beer for lunch you just drove to Baldwin county.
In FL you have to stop selling alcohol at 2 am every night. On Sunday's it use to be you couldn't sell beer/wine until 1pm in the stores but they did away with that law at least in Hillsborough county a while back.
Sunday alcohol sales in cities or counties that are wet must be approved, I think, by state legislation. Generally it is by the drink in a restaurant, not package. Draft beer sales are not in every wet city or county, it's a separate matter (not sure if the local can approve or it has to go to the state). Local governments set closing times. Until 20-+ years ago, a county and the cities therein were either wet or dry, but state legislation was passed so that a city within a dry county can vote to go wet.
In Alabama, as far as I know, a government is either wet or dry...that is, ALL alcohol sales are OK if the place is wet, not just beer and wine only but not liquor, or liquor and not beer and wine, like Georgia does.
Alabama has such a hodgepodge or alcohol laws it would take years to figure them all out.
How true Southlander...in parts of AL there is a lot of opposition to alcohol sales. The town where I live had a vote last year and it failed to pass by 16 votes, another vote can not take place for another 2 years. Having lived in FL for many years and being new here I found it strange since you can drive 15 miles down the road and buy whatever you want, plus most 'name' restaurants won't come to a town if they can't sell alcohol.
Depends on your county, so ask your probate judge. But generally it starts with a petition to have a vote, signed by VOTERS of that county...minors and non-residents and non-registered adults don't count. It has to be a certain percentage of the qualified voters in the county. Again, your probate judge should be able to answer questions. And don't forget, you can have a wet city inside a dry county. It all starts with a petition.
This map pretty much explains wet and dry...both counties and cities....
State of Alabama - ABC Board (http://www.abc.alabama.gov/wet_dry.aspx - broken link)
One other note: distilled alcohol does NOT always have to be sold by a state-ABC store. It can also be sold by private package stores. There are several in Jefferson county and they are open on Sundays and Holidays when the state-ABC stores are closed.
As others have said, it is a patchwork of state, county and local laws with little consistency and lots of complexity....
The liquor laws in Alabama are so complex someone should do a research paper...
Back in my day, we were encouraged to use authoritative source materials for research papers, we didn't ask unsourceable strangers on the Internet for what is essentially their opinion, and we liked it!
That said, follow Bravo's link - use .gov sources for .gov research.
For fun (for Huntsville):
"What's the deal with the laws in AL?" - there's too many of them...
"What days and times can you buy?" - depends; you can buy retail wine / beer daily from 6 am - 2 am (except for Sat. nite sales stop at midnite, Sun sales are limited); retail liquor from 11am to 9 pm (except on Sun). Bars are open from 11 am to 2 pm except for bars that are open til 4 pm or open 24/7.
"What alcohol by volume % is legal for beer and wine?" - IIRC 3.2% or so and 12% or so.
"Can you buy beer/wine in grocery and convenience stores or do you have to go to a state liquor store?" - yes; state stores sell liquor, but there are also private liquor stores
"Do you have 'dry counties'?" - yes, plus some 'wet' cities in dry counties
"I heard that draft beer is illegal unless determined by the county in AL. Is that true?" - maybe yes if I understand the question. Draft beer is sold (and can be brewed) in HSV
"How do your laws compare to the neighboring states?" - more restrictive
I know in Arab, they did a petition and you had to be a resident of the city proper. You couldn't vote if you lived in police jurisdiction or county just because your address says 'Arab'.
If it doesnt pass, you have to wait 2 years before it can be put on the ballot again.
It didn't pass by 16 votes.. they were going to challenge it but decided not to for some reason.. I don't remember now exactly why.. maybe if you challenged it and lost you had to wait longer to vote again.. Don't quote me on that one...
You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us. Robert Louis Stevenson
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