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Springfield takes a look at liquor by the drink
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The Springfield City Council discussed a possible liquor by the drink ordinance at a workshop on Tuesday.

The council is preparing the ordinance in the event that there is a referendum called to allow Springfield residents to vote on allowing liquor by the drink sales in the city.

Mayor Barton Alderman asked the council if they felt the ordinance for distilled liquor and beer and wine should be one ordinance that has two parts.

Councilman Jeff Ambrose asked if it was done that way if the residents would be voting on beer and wine again.

Councilman Dennis Webb said the residents will not be voting on the ordinance — they will be voting on a referendum to allow liquor by the drink sales.

Councilman Kenny Usher said he liked the Statesboro ordinance dealing with liquor sales but feels there are some things that will need to be defined.

He likes the detail in the Statesboro ordinance to prevent unseemly behavior at establishments selling liquor and felt what is in Springfield’s malt beverage and wine ordinance was not detailed enough.

The Springfield malt beverage and wine ordinance prohibits on the “Licensed premises any disorderly conduct, breach of peace, or any led, immoral, illegal, or improper entertainment, conduct, or practice.”

“Would that cover us with that kind of wording?” Usher asked.

Webb said it is better to “err on the side of detail.”

Alderman said that if something is left up to interpretation “it will be misinterpreted.”

The councilmen discussed the hours in which the beverages sales will be allowed.

Alderman said he felt the liquor regulations and the beer and wine regulations needed to be the same. He said it would be foolish to allow beer and wine sales until 1 a.m., but cut liquor sales at 11 p.m.

Under current regulations restaurants are allowed to sell beer and wine from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. until midnight Friday and Saturday.

Sales are prohibited from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on election days, Sundays and Christmas day.

Alderman asked about the provision that allows people to consume any purchased drinks for one hour after the cutoff for sales. Ambrose said he thought it would be a good idea to allow sales until 11 p.m. and allow consumption on the premises until midnight.

Members discussed that it should be required that as long as alcohol is sold food should be available as well.

“They can’t close the kitchen until they close the bar,” Webb said.

The council decided to allow sales from Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. allowing consumption until midnight, and to allow sales from 11 a.m. until midnight on Friday and Saturday with consumption allowed until 1 a.m.