ABC Board: Alcohol sales to end at 11 p.m. in Alabama

Published 12:44 pm Monday, July 27, 2020

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The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board approved an emergency order Monday that limits the hours of on-premises consumption of alcohol.

Restaurants, bars, and other ABC licensees can’t sell alcohol for on-premise consumption between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. On-premise consumption must end at 11:30 p.m.

According to the board, this goes into effect immediately but won’t be enforced until Saturday.

ABC Board Administrator Mac Gipson said the hope is the decreased hours will decrease social gatherings and the spread of COVID-19.

“Our number one goal is to protect the public and our license holders,” Gibson said in a statement. “We believe this emergency order will reduce the exposure to and spread of COVID-19.”

In a news release sent out by the ABC Board, the board said alcohol could impair individuals and make it where they are less likely to follow guidelines.

“It is widely believed that alcohol consumption reduces inhibitions. After consuming alcoholic beverage, individuals are less likely to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines, including the wearing of masks and social distancing, potentially increasing the transmission of COVID-19.”

The board stated in a news release that while some states have closed bars or banned on-premise drinking, this order allows businesses to continue operating.

“The primary mission of the Alabama ABC Board is protect the health, safety and welfare of our citizens and we take this mission very seriously,” ABC Board Chairperson Col. Alan Spencer said. “We are very sensitive to the economic impact this rule will have. This is a gut-wrenching decision we are making today, but it is also gut-wrenching to see the number of Alabamians who are suffering from this disease. On balance, I am compelled to vote in favor of the rule. This will be a very short duration and will relieve this restriction as soon as possible.”