Posted on: September 28, 2023

Georgia Alcohol Sales: What Time Can You Buy Alcohol?

Georgia Alcohol Sales: What Time Can You Buy Alcohol?

National alcohol laws can be complicated, but Georgia liquor laws allow local jurisdictions to set more restrictive rules, making them even more confusing. As a result, simple questions like "How late can you buy alcohol in Georgia?" and "What are Georgia's Sunday alcohol laws?" can get different answers.

We’ll clear things up in this article, so you can know exactly when you can buy beer or liquor in the state of Georgia.

What Time Does Georgia Stop Selling Alcohol?

Closing times vary by jurisdiction, but generally, the last call in Georgia is at 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 11:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Grocery stores, liquor stores, and other places that sell alcohol for off-premises consumption also stop Sunday alcohol sales by 11:30 p.m. Every other day of the week, they stop selling alcohol at 11:45 p.m.

What Time Can You Buy Alcohol in Georgia?

Georgia alcohol sales hours vary by jurisdiction, but state law sets the earliest and latest sales times. From Monday through Saturday, alcohol sales in Georgia can't begin earlier than 8 a.m. and can't end later than 11:45 p.m. for gas stations, grocery stores, liquor stores, breweries, and taprooms.

Georgia's Sunday alcohol laws restrict these same off-premises retailers to after 12:30 p.m. and before 11:30 p.m.

Bars and restaurants are a little different. Some jurisdictions have a "brunch law" that allows alcohol service to begin at 11 a.m. on Sundays. They still have to hold last call by 11:30 p.m. Every other day of the week, bars and restaurants can't begin alcohol sales earlier than 9 a.m. and have to stop selling liquor no later than 2 a.m.

Those are the broadest hours for alcohol sales in Georgia. Individual jurisdictions can restrict the sales hours further.

Can You Buy Beer in Georgia Grocery Stores?

Beer and wine are allowed for sale in retail establishments like grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, and other stores.

You can't buy liquor in these stores, though. Liquor is restricted to specially permitted package stores.

Can You Get Alcohol Delivered in Georgia?

Georgia has long allowed wineries to offer direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipping.

Since the pandemic, you can get beer and wine delivery from any retailer with the right license. Only liquor stores are allowed to deliver distilled spirits. Only restaurants can sell mixed drinks for delivery – all other businesses can only sell prepackaged alcohol.

Georgia requires anyone who delivers alcohol or sells it "to go" to have special state-approved training like the courses provided by TIPS.

What Are Georgia's Dry Counties?

Certain counties in Georgia are "dry counties," meaning retail liquor sales are illegal in those jurisdictions.

As of 2023, the dry counties in Georgia include Bleckley, Coweta, Dodge, Effingham, Franklin, Hart, Lumpkin, Murray, and Union counties. White County is also dry, but the city of Helen is wet.

Butts and Decatur counties prohibit alcohol sales for on-site consumption in places like bars and restaurants, but there's no law against alcohol sales for off-site consumption.

Upson County is the opposite – it prohibits retail alcohol sales but allows alcohol service in bars and restaurants as of 2014.

Are Liquor Stores Open on Sunday In Georgia?

Georgia Sunday alcohol laws used to ban Sunday sales in most of the state, but that's no longer the case.

In 2011, cities and counties all over Georgia voted on whether to continue the ban on Sunday liquor sales, and 105 of 127 communities ended the ban.

So while we used to have to give a list of counties in Georgia with Sunday alcohol sales, at this point, it's quicker to list the jurisdictions without.

In Georgia, Sunday alcohol sales are NOT allowed in the dry counties listed above or in:

  • Albany
  • Americus
  • Brooklet
  • Brunswick
  • Comer
  • Elbert County
  • Flovilla
  • Fort Oglethorpe
  • Garden City
  • Kingland
  • Lovejoy
  • Oglethorpe
  • Palmetto
  • Pendergrass
  • Portal
  • Sumter County
  • Swainsboro
  • Tunnel Hill
  • Varnell
  • Waycross
  • Whitfield County
  • Woodbine

Learn Strategies for Georgia Liquor Law Compliance as a Seller/Server

For most people, knowing local liquor laws is just about the timing of your beer run or last call.

But for people who sell or serve alcohol, knowing Georgia liquor law can protect you from serious legal trouble. You must know who can buy liquor, when, where, and how. Georgia law allows victims of alcohol-related injuries to seek damages against the business that provided the alcoholic beverages – and in some cases, the individual servers, or sellers responsible for the transaction.

The state of Georgia requires training for anyone who delivers alcohol or sells it "to go." We also recommend seller/server training for anyone involved in on- or off-premises alcohol sales.

We have state-approved TIPS training available online or in the classroom. This Training for Intervention ProcedureS will give you real-world strategies for how to avoid illegal alcohol sales, not just knowledge of regulations and BAC. You'll learn how to handle specific situations while obeying the law and maintaining a safe environment. You'll learn how to properly check ID, recognize potential third-party sales to a minor, recognize someone who's inebriated and safely refuse service, and more.

Enroll today!