Destin ban on Sunday alcohol sales ‘stupid’; council to review

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Parker Destin: “It’s hurting the convenience stores and, frankly, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in my opinion.”

TONY JUDNICH @Tonyjnwfdn

DESTIN — A city councilman’s recent trip to a local grocery store could lead to a change to the city’s law on Sunday sales of beer, wine and liquor.

Currently, the city prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages by state licensees within Destin from 4-7 a.m. Monday through Saturday and from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.

The extra restrictions on Sunday sales, however, seem “stupid,” Councilman Parker Destin told his fellow council members recently.

At the council’s Jan. 2 meeting, Destin recalled his visit to the local Winn-Dixie store at 12:37 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31.

“There were six lanes full of tourists checking out at the Winn-Dixie and, being that it was before 1 p.m., everybody was having their beer and wine taken out of the service aisle and put back on the shelves,” Destin said. “There were three full shopping carts’ worth of beer and wine that were put back on the shelves, and it just struck me how stupid that seemed to be.”

He also had this to say about the Sunday restrictions: “I don’t think we’re really convincing anybody that we’re (preventing) the drunks from stumbling in the churches, and I think at the end of the day we’re only just hurting the economy. (The current city law) is hurting the Winn-Dixie. It’s hurting the convenience stores and, frankly, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in my opinion.”

None of Destin’s fellow council member objected to pursuing changes to the city’s law on Sunday alcohol sales.

On Tuesday, the council plans to consider whether to approve the first reading of an ordinance that would prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages by state licensees within the city between 4-7 a.m. every day.

That proposed change would delete the existing and additional Sunday restrictions, meaning the city’s rules would mirror those in the city of Fort Walton Beach.

In unincorporated Okaloosa County, alcoholic beverages can be sold Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. until 4 a.m. the following morning.

Such sales also are permitted from 1 p.m. Sunday until 4 a.m. Monday in the unincorporated area. Restaurants and other eateries that regularly serve full meals, however, are allowed to sell alcoholic beverages from 10 a.m. Sunday to 4 a.m. Monday, according to the county ordinance.

In unincorporated Santa Rosa County, alcoholic beverages may be sold from 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. every day and in unincorporated Walton County, they may be be sold from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day.

Tuesday’s Destin City Council meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the City Hall Annex, 4100 Indian Bayou Trail.

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