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PTC extends Saturday drinking hours

Peachtree City has adopted extended alcohol sales hours for bars and restaurants, which will allow them to serve until 2 a.m. on early Sunday mornings instead of the current midnight cutoff.

The move, which takes effect April 1, was made largely for financial reasons.

Establishments in Coweta County are allowed to serve until 2 a.m., causing Peachtree City businesses to lose customers, City Administrative Services Director Betsy Tyler told the City Council Thursday night.

Also, the city’s conference centers have difficulty attracting wedding parties on Saturday nights due to the midnight cutoff, Tyler said.

There is a bit of a public safety angle too. Peachtree City has far more alternatives for a safe ride home including cab service, city staff said.

Council’s intent is to review the ordinance after six months to determine if it is worth keeping or ditching.

To take advantage of the new 2-hour window, bars and restaurants will have to install video surveillance cameras at the main customer and employee entrances as well as the parking area immediately next to the establishment.

Another caveat is that the businesses will have to shoo all customers out by 2:30 a.m.

Businesses will still be responsible for not over-serving patrons or they could face liability issues, said Police Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark. The city’s most active night of the week for DUI arrests is Saturday, followed closely by Friday, Clark noted.

The ordinance also enacts the 2 a.m. alcohol sales deadline on a nightly basis. Under current ordinance, businesses could sell all night and all day during the week until midnight Saturday, with some able to resume sales Sundays at 12:30 p.m. and others at 12:01 a.m. Monday, according to city staff.

Tyler presented retail data that showed in the food service/drinking industry sector, Peachtree City was losing out on $12 million in sales, while Coweta County was over-achieving with a surplus in the same category by $13 million.

The city council’s vote to adopt the new alcohol sales hours was unanimous.

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