A dry New Year’s Eve

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Forget about purchasing that bottle of New Year’s bubbly today.

Yes, it’s New Year’s Eve. But the fact remains – Sunday alcohol sales are illegal in Selma and Dallas County.

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“We have to close down at 2 o’clock on Saturday night,” said Cheers Package Store cashier Michelle Brady on Friday. “Actually we do it five minutes ’til so that way at 2 a.m. alcohol cannot walk out of our store.”

Cheers, located at 1105 Broad Street, is open from 10 to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Brady said the New Year’s sales may be affected, but she remains optimistic.

“(The holiday) may increase sales Saturday night,” she said. “If they don’t get it Saturday night they’re just out of luck.”

Cheers – where Seagram’s gin, Absolut and Grey Goose vodka and Hennessy cognac are the store’s top sellers – faced a similar challenge during the Christmas holidays. Brady was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

“For Christmas we did real good,” she said. “We did a $7,000 liquor order before Christmas and we sold just about out.” Cheers placed another large order on Friday for New Year’s.

At Motes Package Store on West Dallas Avenue, owner Richard Motes said Selma’s Sunday ban won’t stop people from traveling outside Dallas County for booze. According to the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, Sunday alcohol sales are legal in Montgomery County, outside the corporate limits of Perry County and in Prattville, where sales are permitted citywide.

“I’ll probably lose some money it,” Motes said. “A lot of the times they (customers) never buy alcohol ahead of time. It’s kind of like stopping at a gas station when you’re running low on gas. When you need it, you stop and get it.

I don’t know why they won’t go ahead and lift it (the ban).

“If the surrounding counties can sell liquor, I don’t know why they can’t sell it over here.”

Lifting the Sunday ban would require a public vote, according to state law.

Motes said he didn’t expect an influx of customers on Friday, but was looking forward to Saturday business.

Statewide, restaurant owners and alcohol wholesalers say they will lose money this New Year’s weekend.

“New Year’s is one of the best nights of the year for us,” Decatur restaurant and bar owner Victor Melonas told the Associated Press. “Of all the nights in the year, it’s the last night I’d want to be closed.”


The following Alabama counties are permitted to conduct Sunday alcohol sales: Green County Dog Track (on premises), Jefferson County, Mobile County, Montgomery County, Macon County, Madison County, Perry County (no municipalities) and Baldwin County (specific cities).

The following Alabama cities are permitted to conduct Sunday alcohol sales: Auburn, Prattville (on premises), Opelika and Phenix City

Source: Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board