City council to hear new set of proposed revisions to Savannah liquor laws

City council to hear new set of proposed revisions to Savannah liquor laws
(Source: WTOC)

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Savannah City Council will hear about a new set of proposed liquor laws at their meeting on Thursday.

After hosting several public feedback sessions, city employees are ready to present the newest draft of the proposed alcohol ordinance.

The biggest question right now is -- will the alcohol ordinance include a requirement that employees in these establishments must have a background check?

The city of Savannah has been looking at revising its alcohol ordinance for quite some time now. A couple of years ago, revisions were made to the alcohol ordinance which included the requirement of bar cards. Those that handle alcohol were required to have the Bar Card, which included a process of safety training, a background check, and stamped fingerprints.

Last year, Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach said the city would no longer enforce the Bar Card. Now, the city is looking for a replacement for that section of the ordinance.

WTOC spoke to a brewery owner this week who said among the bar and restaurant community, most people agree that servers and bartenders need to complete safety training. However, they do not believe it should be a requirement for the employer to conduct a background check. The mayor says he agrees with them.

"I think I leave that responsibility of the industry and let them make those decisions. I do background checks at my business. I'm not going to tell them what they're going to do. But you're responsible for the conduct and actions of your employees, so that will be up to them. But we'll make sure they have all the needed courses by checking them periodically and making sure everyone is in line," Mayor DeLoach said.

City council members will hear the proposed changes on Thursday, April 26. A vote should take place sometime this summer.

Another hot topic up for discussion on Thursday is the new downtown parking system. After several months of enforcing the new downtown parking structure, city leaders will hear an update on the new system.

Also on Thursday, the family of a Savannah man and their supporters plan to show up at city council's meeting to demand answers from police, wearing "Red for Ricky." Officers shot and killed Ricky Boyd on his front porch back in January. Georgia Senator Lester Jackson wrote a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking federal investigators to take over the investigation.

To view the full agenda for City Council's Regular Meeting for Thursday, April 26, click here.

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