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County may tweak booze ordinance
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Forsyth County News
Commissioners plan to pick through Forsyth County's alcohol ordinance this week, eyeing changes that could affect how and where vendors sell booze.

In a special called work session Tuesday, and again in a public hearing Thursday, the commission could look at letting those with pouring licenses sell liquor by the drink at special events.

In a work session last week, County Attorney Ken Jarrard told commissioners that for a $250 to $500 fee, vendors would get up to 12 annual permits to set up "cash bars" at special events.

Jarrard said the change would be "based on the Sawnee Preserve model," an adjustment earlier this year that allowed alcoholic drinks to be served during certain events at the facility.

More possible changes to the ordinance include a requirement that sellers check a buyer's identification "irrespective of their apparent age," which the current code does not cover.

Other tweaks include penalties for sellers. For instance, a "Scarlet Letter" type rule would require vendors whose alcohol license has been suspended to put up a sign detailing the length and reason for the suspension.

Further penalties involve revoking the alcohol identification card of an employee who breaks the rules by selling to a minor or committing other offenses.

Some possible alterations could affect the sale of alcohol at marinas.

Proposed are changes that would allow marinas to get a pouring license "without meeting the 50 percent food service requirement."

"It would put pouring sales at a marina on par with golf courses and cigar shops," Jarrard said.

Other wording in the code that commissioners could consider includes:

• Limiting the five-year prohibition on a revoked license if the person with the license holds the lease.

• Requiring an applicant for an alcohol license to repay all taxes, fees and assessments pertaining to the license.

• Modifying the day care definition in order to "not make them a pariah in developments because of ordinary setbacks that accompany them" in the current code.

• Requiring mandatory alcohol training as part of the application process.

A work session is scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday and a public hearing will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday. The board could then adopt the changes.