Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Lydia Martin
A few months back, I was invited by a relative who knows how to have a good time in Georgia. And as we indulged in the sights and flavors of our favorite drinks, we were confronted by one question: What time do they stop selling alcohol in Georgia?
Because honestly, getting in trouble in another state is not on our itinerary. So, before you head on to Georgia, let’s ensure you know the rules.
When Do Stores Stop Selling Alcohol In Georgia?
With the alcohol laws in Georgia, retail stores would stop selling beer, wine, and spirits around midnight. These establishments have different operating and selling hours.
“Georgia’s landscape brims with a diverse array of alcoholic drinks, ensuring there’s something to satisfy every discerning palate.” – Liquor Laboratory
The usual closing time for buying alcohol is 11:45 p.m. on Mondays to Saturdays and 11:30 p.m. on Sundays.
5 Places To Buy Alcohol & Their Selling Hours
1. Breweries & Taprooms
Breweries are one of our favorite destinations when visiting a new place. The brewery we have visited before in Georgia operates from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
However, these establishments often align their operations with state regulations and drinking laws, ensuring compliance as they sell beer or other alcoholic drinks.
That’s why when coming to Georgia, you may notice that you can only buy beer in some breweries and taprooms from 10 a.m. until before midnight.
2. Grocery Stores
Grocery stores in Georgia are only open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.—the only time you can buy alcohol, except liquor.
Beers and wine are the only ones available in grocery and convenience stores here. And for distilled spirits with higher ABV, you must get them in licensed packages and liquor stores.
3. Gas Stations
Gas stations usually have attached convenience stores that can sell alcohol, but you can only buy beer and wine, not liquor.
If the gas station convenience store is licensed, it can sell beer and wine, and sometimes, they are also open for on-premises alcohol consumption. Gas stations usually operated until 10 p.m., when they also stopped selling any alcoholic drinks.
4. Bars & Restaurants
Bars and restaurants are allowed to sell beer, wine, and spirits from 11 a.m. to 11:45 p.m., Monday to Saturday. But they can only start to sell alcohol around noon on Sundays.
In restaurants, we would usually order our food along with wine. And if you haven’t finished your alcoholic beverage, you can also take your unfinished bottle for off-premise consumption.
Bars and restaurants can accept home delivery orders, but like other licensed retailers, they can only sell alcohol according to local regulations.
5. Package & Liquor Stores
You can only buy liquor or packaged alcohol in licensed liquor stores in Georgia. They sell these stronger alcoholic drinks from 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.
Georgia’s package stores, selling securely sealed alcoholic beverages, are legally authorized to use drive-thrus and service windows .
However, maintain the seal until you reach your destination, or you may be charged for Open Container.
Understanding Georgia’s Federal Liquor Laws
Georgia’s beer and alcohol laws vary depending on different counties. Usually, off-premise buying of liquor from Monday to Saturday is allowed between 7 a.m. to 11:45 in the evening.
The usual time for on-premise consumption in bars and restaurants is around 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 in the evening.
Sunday Alcohol Sales
In Georgia, you can’t purchase alcohol before 12:30 p.m. on Sundays. Nonetheless, you’ll be pleased to know that alcohol sales persist until 11:30 p.m., a little later than other states.
“Georgia was the last Southern bastion of a statewide all-day ban on Sunday alcohol sales in package or grocery stores.” – Robbie Brown, Former New York Times Journalist
Sunday sales in Georgia were allowed in 2011. But in Atlanta, a new law allows you to buy alcohol for an extended time from 11:00 a.m. to midnight on Sundays.
Drinking & Selling Laws
Many counties in Georgia permit sales of liquor, allowing you to purchase beer, wine, and liquor almost anywhere.
If you buy beer, liquor, or wine for off-premises consumption, ensure it is in sealed containers.
Open container laws prohibit any sign that you might have been consuming alcohol (like beer) while driving. In addition, an open container may cause you a DUI conviction and license suspension, according to Georgia law.
However, only the person who possessed and consumed the beer will be charged and pay a fine for the license returned DUI program.
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Is Georgia Considered A Dry State?
Thankfully, Georgia is not a dry state. Most counties are allowed to sell alcoholic beverages like beer in different retail locations.
Mississippi was the last state to run statewide Prohibition in the United States until its liquor laws were changed in 2022.
However, some counties in Georgia still prohibit you from buying beer, wine, and spirits because residents might have voted for their county to become dry.
Does It Have Any Dry Counties?
Yes, Georgia still has dry counties: Coweta, Decatur, Dodge, Franklin, and Murray. In these counties, the sale of alcohol might be limited or prohibited altogether. Some even require bars to close earlier.
Although some counties are not considered dry, the decision to prohibit or restrict alcohol sales still falls on local municipalities.
Ironically, these dry counties in Georgia still drink excessively, according to research .
What time does Georgia stop selling liquor on Saturday?
Georgia stops selling alcoholic drinks on Saturdays around 11:30 to 11:45 p.m. But some Georgia alcohol laws may cause establishments to stop retail sales much earlier.
What time do they stop selling wine in Georgia?
Generally, wine sales conclude around 11:30 to 11:45 p.m., aligning with each county’s local government.
What time can restaurants serve alcohol on Sunday in Atlanta?
Restaurants in Atlanta serve alcohol on Sundays, from 11 a.m. until midnight. In 2018, Atlanta extended their alcohol sales hours on Sundays, previously set between 12:30 to 11:30 p.m.
On A Final Note
Like any other state, Georgia has different selling hours for alcoholic drinks that may vary from 7 a.m. until before midnight. It also has regulations, especially for open containers inside motor vehicles.
In Georgia, you can only possess alcohol at a legal drinking age of 21 years old, while the blood alcohol legal limit is 0.08%. If caught, DUI penalties may vary from a suspended license and community service to jail time of up to one year.
So, remember not just to drink responsibly, whether it’s your birthday or Christmas day, but also to check the local laws of the individual counties you visit.