Proposed changes to Augusta's alcohol ordinances would have major effect on businesses

New changes to Augusta's alcohol ordinances have major effect on many businesses

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - New rules could be coming to bars and restaurants in Richmond County. Deputies said they think new rules could cut down on a lot of trouble.

"Anything after 2 o'clock or 3 o'clock is not good," said Sgt. Richard Elim with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. "We understand that people want to have places to go but we would say to try to get it done anywhere before 3 o'clock because we find that at that time our calls of services increase."

Under the proposed ordinance changes, restaurants that have a liquor license would have to stop serving alcohol by 3 a.m. Monday through Friday and by 2:30 a.m. Saturday, just like bars and clubs.

"We're not trying to hurt a business," Elim said. "We are trying to make our community safer."

But businesses also are worried about something else - a 10 percent jump in price for a liquor license.

"It's a little bit stressful," said Clint Margin, owner of Bar West and Surreal at the Surrey Center. "I understand what they are trying to do, but I don't like the way it's being approached."

But some people say the new ordinance would be enough to keep them home instead of going out.

"it's kind of detrimental. It kind of makes you want to stay in the house," said Gernosha Hayes, a local resident. "Typically it's cheaper to drink at home."

The proposed changes to the ordinance will go before the Public Service Committee on Aug. 25. If it's approved it in committee, it will go before commissioners on Sept. 2.

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