As an anticrime measure, Atlanta is considering a sharp cutback in the hours for beer and wine sales. Instead of 24 hours a day, convenience and grocery stores would not be allowed to sell liquor between 11:45 p.m. and 8 a.m. every day except Sunday, when no sales are allowed.
Two City Council members said the plan is aimed at late-night violence and drunkenness around convenience stores. The discussion comes during a push to curb liquor sales at bars that followed a late-night gunbattle outside a nightclub two weeks ago that left two men dead.
Jim Tudor of the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores said his members cannot understand why an ordinance intended to address violence in one area might be altered to affect their stores. He said Atlanta is on the verge of “ordinancing itself out of business.”
Councilman H. Lamar Willis said the city must address violence. “We have to answer the question of what do we lose and what do we gain from this,” Willis said. “There is a value on the quality of life, and if you were to go two blocks up Cascade or two blocks up Peachtree, a murder is a murder.”