Sunday alcohol sales will soon begin in Perry County, just a short time after a similar measure approved in the city limits of Hazard.

On April 22, the fiscal court held a special called meeting for the second reading and the adoption of an Alcohol Beverage Control Ordinance. 

Perry County Judge-Executive Scott Alexander told court and community members that the Sunday sales of alcohol for county businesses will begin at noon, as compared to the city’s 1 p.m. Additionally, the county businesses have the option to sell alcohol until 2 a.m., as long as they close by 3 a.m., as compared to the city’s 12 a.m. cut-off.  

“It is still up to business owners’ discretion to choose,” Alexander said. “Lots of places are 12 a.m., I chose 2 a.m. A lot of your nurses, coal miners and different people get off work at 11 p.m. or work over, and a lot of kids are not required home until midnight on weekends. So, I give it the option to serve until 2 a.m., but the premises has to be closed by 3 a.m.”

This, court officials said, provides people partaking in alcohol time to sober up and will help prevent drunk driving, as well as provide other people time to get home before those drivers are on the road. 

One community member who owns a county establishment that sells alcohol questioned the rates of taxing, stating that county businesses will be at a disadvantage having to pay the 5 and/or 6 percent fee required of county businesses, while the city’s fee is only 3 percent. 

Alexander explained that the fees are necessary, and pursuant to state law, there is an imposed regulatory license fee on the gross receipts for the sale of alcoholic beverages of each licensee with a local license issued by the county administrator. 

“I think this being in place is much better than nothing,” Alexander said.

The alcohol control ordinance states that the county’s regulatory license fee shall be 6 percent of gross sales of all alcoholic beverages sold by the drink. Additionally, the ordinance states that the county’s regulatory license fee for the retail sales of package distilled spirits and wine will be 6 percent of gross sales. The ordinance also states that the county’s regulatory license fee shall be 5 percent on gross retail sales of packaged malt beverages. 

A motion was made and seconded, and the alcohol control ordinance for Sunday alcohol sales was adopted. 

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