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County commission will revisit alcohol sales law
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Forsyth County News
Buying a cold beer at one of the marinas on the Forsyth County side of Lake Lanier could soon be possible.

The county commission discussed the proposed change to the alcohol ordinance, along with several others, during a work session Tuesday.

The adjustment would allow marinas to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises without having to meet the county’s 50 percent food sales requirement.

Currently, the only establishments allowed to sell alcohol by the drink are those where food totals half of the sales.

The commission hold a public hearing on the proposed changes tonight.

Commissioners are considering a variety of tweaks to penalties, including the “Scarlet Letter” requirement. The rule would require vendors whose alcohol license has been suspended to post a neon sign alerting customers to the length and reason for the suspension.

“That’s modeled after Dawson County,” Commissioner Patrick Bell said. “They say it’s very effective.”

The county’s ordinance could also be changed to allow customers to take home wine bought but not consumed at restaurants.

Forsyth County Attorney Ken Jarrard said the change would comply with state law.

Commissioners also discussed a penalty that would treat the licensee of an establishment that sells alcohol to a person under age 21 as an employee.

That could mean additional fines and longer license suspensions for violators.

Other possible changes include allowing those already permitted to sell alcohol to set up cash bars at special events.

“We’re not talking about any license holder in the county,” Jarrard said. “We’re talking about those with a pouring license.”

The ordinance currently allows nonprofits to set up cash bars. If the change is passed, sellers would be allowed 12 permits a year at about $250 each.