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When, where you will be able to order alcohol earlier on Sundays

Starting Feb. 3, diners in many parts of Hall will be able to order alcohol at restaurants at 11 a.m.

Hall County and several local city governments plan to vote on changes to local alcohol ordinances in January so that laws reflect the November referendum on the “brunch bill,” which allows for earlier Sunday alcohol sales at restaurants.

Voters in Hall, Gainesville, Flowery Branch, Oakwood and Braselton approved the change on Nov. 6. The next step is for the local governments to make it official by adjusting their alcohol ordinances.

Ordinances must be amended by the governments to reflect the change before restaurants can start serving.

In these locations, restaurants will be allowed to start selling alcohol at 11 a.m. on Sundays. A bill signed by Gov. Nathan Deal in May allows municipalities to hold a referendum to decide whether to allow earlier sales. Previous state law only allowed alcohol sales starting at 12:30 p.m. on Sundays.

The “brunch bill” only applies to restaurants, not grocery stores.

Braselton Town Manager Jennifer Scott said the Braselton Town Council approved a new ordinance to adjust sales times in November. The rules have been in effect since then, she said.

Oakwood followed suit on Monday, tweaking its alcohol ordinance to reflect voters’ November approval of earlier Sunday sales.

Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown told the Oakwood City Council Monday that the cities and the county “are looking at the implementation date” of Feb. 3.

“We’re just trying to eliminate confusion between different jurisdictions,” he said.

The Gainesville City Council will vote on the changes on Jan. 8, with earlier Sunday sales also starting on Feb. 3, city spokeswoman Nikki Perry said.

Feb. 3 will also be the first Sunday with early sales in Flowery Branch, and the City Council there will hold two readings of the new ordinance on Jan. 3 and 17. The Council will vote on Jan. 17, according to City Clerk Melissa McCain.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners will hold two public hearings on Jan. 10 and 24, voting on Jan. 24. The county will have the same effective date as other areas, with Feb. 3 being the first Sunday affected by the change.

Staff writer Jeff Gill contributed to this report.

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