Georgia Beer Laws in 2022 (Sunday Sales, Delivery, & Where To Buy)

Since all 50 states have the power to set statewide alcohol laws, there can be some uncertainty. What are the beer laws in Georgia that cover the purchase and consumption of alcohol?

In Georgia, you can buy cans, bottles, kegs, and growlers between 8:00 a.m. and 11:45 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Most counties allow Sunday alcohol sales from 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m, but some bars and restaurants can start selling at 11 a.m. You can also get packaged alcohol delivered to your door. Of Georgia’s 159 counties, 12 are dry.

Keep reading for a complete look at Georgia’s laws surrounding beer and any other details you should know.

Is Georgia a dry state?

For a state to be considered dry it would have to prohibit or restrict alcohol. There are no states that are dry overall. However, states allow their counties to choose to be wet or dry.

Georgia is not a dry state, although it has dry counties. The state does not heavily restrict the sale, production, or consumption of liquor. 

That said, there are certain times when alcohol may not be sold which I will cover later.

Does Georgia have any dry counties?

Georgia does have several dry counties. These counties place some restrictions on the type of alcohol that can be sold. Additionally, they may further restrict the times and places you can buy beer, wine, and spirits.

Of Georgia’s 159 counties the following 12 are dry:

  • Bleckley County
  • Bulloch County
  • Butts County
  • Coweta County
  • Decatur County
  • Effingham County
  • Hart County 
  • Lumpkin County
  • Murray County
  • Union County
  • Upson County
  • White County

While these counties are dry, there are often specified ‘wet’ areas where you can purchase beer.

When can you buy beer in Georgia?

Like most other states, you cannot buy beer 24/7 in Georgia. Licensed retailers are only permitted to sell alcohol at certain times.

In Georgia, you can buy beer for off-premises consumption between 8:00 a.m. and 11:45 p.m. Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, beer may be sold from 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. On-premise consumption regulations are determined by each county and vary.

These times may change depending on the county. Counties can restrict permitted alcohol sale hours, but can’t allow retail sales outside of the above times.

Can you buy beer on Sunday in Georgia?

You can buy beer on Sunday in most of Georgia.

Georgia state laws allow the sale of alcohol on Sunday between 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Georgia counties can prohibit Sunday alcohol sales. Some counties do not allow alcohol sales at any time on Sundays.

Additionally, the state of Georgia does not prohibit alcohol sales on any other days. However, it allows counties to prohibit sales on days such as Christmas Day.

When do bars close in Georgia?

The last call for bars varies from county to county.

Georgia does not have a set time that all bars must close. Instead, counties set the time for the last call. The average closing time for bars is 2 a.m. Some counties may require bars to close earlier.

Where can you buy beer in Georgia?

Since there are several dry counties you may be wondering where you can buy beer.

As long as the county permits it, you can buy beer in Georgia at the following places:

  • Bars and restaurants
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores
  • Package and liquor stores
  • Breweries and taprooms

Naturally, each type of retailer has different rules and regulations. Check out each section below to learn about them.

Bars and restaurants

In Georgia, bars and restaurants that serve alcohol may do so from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday. On Sundays, they can serve alcohol from 11 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. 

Some restaurants will close earlier than the latest time they can serve alcohol. Bars may be open later in some counties. On the other hand, some counties will close the bars earlier.

Bars and restaurants can sell packaged and draught beer, wine, and spirits by the drink. Additionally, since early 2021 Georgia restaurants can sell alcohol with to-go meals.

Gas stations

You can buy beer at gas stations in Georgia between 8 a.m. and 11:45 p.m. Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, they can sell alcohol between 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. 

Gas stations are not covered by the “brunch bill” that allows bars and restaurants to serve alcohol as early as 11 a.m. on Sundays. Convenience stores may sell beer and wine but not spirits.

Grocery stores

Georgian grocery stores may sell alcohol from 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. Their Sunday alcohol hours are 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Many grocery stores will be open outside of these hours. It is only their sale of beer and wine that is restricted. 

Package and liquor stores

Liquor stores in Georgia may sell alcohol from 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. on Monday through Friday. They may not sell alcohol on Sunday until 12:30 p.m. before having to close at 11:30 p.m.

In some counties, liquor stores may be prohibited from selling distilled spirits. Another common restriction is that liquor stores can’t sell on Sundays in some counties.

Breweries and taprooms

In Georgia, breweries and taprooms can sell alcohol between 8 a.m. and 11:45 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Sundays are more limited with sale hours from 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Most breweries and taprooms can’t sell alcohol for off-premise consumption. 

Can you get beer delivered in Georgia?

Beer delivery is wonderful. Luckily it is legal in Georgia.

You can get alcohol delivered in Georgia. Any retailer with a corresponding license can deliver beer and wine. Only liquor stores may deliver distilled spirits. Restaurants are the only ones that can deliver mixed drinks. Other retailers can if they are prepackaged. 

Third-party delivery services are allowed to deliver alcohol in addition to the employees of licensed retailers. Services such as Drizly.com can deliver in Georgia.

What is the minimum drinking age in Georgia?

The minimum drinking age in Georgia is 21.

It is illegal to sell alcohol to an underage person. The penalty for doing so is up to 6 months jail time and/or up to $300 in fines.

Can minors drink beer in Georgia with parents?

There are a few common exceptions to the minimum drinking age. One of which is drinking with the permission of the underage person’s parents.

Georgia law allows minors to drink alcohol in the presence of their parents or guardians. Both the minor and their guardians must be at the guardian’s home.

There are two other possible exceptions. The first is if the minor has a prescription from an authorized physician. The second is a religious ceremony.

Drinking laws in Georgia

Overall, Georgia is of two minds on alcohol. Several counties in the state are very restrictive on alcohol. Meanwhile, the majority of the state is much more relaxed. That said, there are always restrictions for the safety of the public. 

Georgia’s drinking laws will differ from county to county. The state leaves many of the specifics to individual counties. Some of the consistencies include the retailer hour timeframes, open containers, and driving under the influence penalties.

Can you buy growlers and other unsealed beer containers in Georgia?

Though growlers are not the most common way to purchase beer, they are still used today. Common sizes are 32 and 64 fl oz.

You can buy and fill growlers in Georgia. Only certain bars, breweries, and retailers will fill them, however. 

In addition to growlers, if you buy a bottle of wine at a restaurant and don’t finish, it you can leave with it. Where you place said bottle in your vehicle is determined by the open container laws.

Open container

Having an open container of alcohol in a car can get you in serious trouble. Georgia is no different.

Georgia’s open container laws make it illegal to drink or possess an open alcoholic beverage inside a car. Only the person with the open container will be charged. Walking around with an open container is legal.

If the open container is in a locked glove box, trunk, or out of reach of all passengers, there should be no penalty. The penalty can be a fine of up to $200. 

Driving

Driving under the influence is never a good idea. Georgia law places harsh consequences on those who do.

Legal limits when driving are different in Georgia for those above 21 years old and those below.

The severity of the consequences depends greatly on the situation and the persons involved. 

Under 21 years old

As drinking is illegal for those under 21 years old, the legal limits are very low.

In Georgia, the legal limit for those under 21 is 0.02% blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Anyone driving above this limit will be charged with a DUI if pulled over.

The penalties are divided by age of the offender. The first age group is 16 to 20 years old. The second is 15 years old and younger.

DUI penalties for those 16 to 20 years old start with the following:

  • Suspended license
    • 6 months for a BAC lower than 0.08%
    • 1 year for a BAC of 0.08% or higher
  • The offender must pay $210 to have license returned
  • DUI program at the expense of the offender

The penalties for offenders 15 years old and younger start with these penalties:

  • Suspended license until 17 years old
  • The offender must pay $210 to have license returned
  • DUI program at the expense of the offender

Further DUIs within 5 years of the first will only increase the severity of the penalties.

21 years and older

The legal limit for drivers older than 21 years old is higher, however, the penalties are harsher.

The legal limit in Georgia for of-age drinkers is 0.08% in a personal vehicle. The legal limit when driving a commercial vehicle is 0.04%.

Penalties for offenders older than 21 years old begin with:

  • Suspended license for up to one year
  • The offender must pay $210 to have license returned
  • A fine between $300 and $1,000
  • 40 hours of community service
  • DUI program at the expense of the offender
  • Possibility for up to one year of jail time

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