Garrett County voters approved additional Sunday sales of alcohol in the county during the November 4th general election.
The new law will take effect December 15th. Some businesses will be able to sell take-out alcoholic beverages and/or sell beverages with a meal between the hours of 1:00 and 10:00 p.m. on Sundays.
The approval of off-premises sales will allow package stores in East and West Oakland, Swanton, Jennings, Accident, Sang Run, Finzel, Deer Park, Elbow, and Avilton districts to sell take-out alcoholic beverages. For take-out sales, the percentage of voters in favor ranged from 54.71 to 69.55.
The approval of on-premises sales with a meal will be allowed in Friendsville, Grantsville, Jennings, Accident, Deer Park, Bittinger and Mountain Lake Park districts. The percentage of those voters in favor ranged from 52.51 to 61.98. On-premises sales were approved in previous elections in the Swanton, Sang Run, East Oakland, Finzel, Elbow and Avilton districts.
Jim Lascaris, owner of Deep Creek Beverage, Gary Sisler, owner of Exxon in McHenry, and Richard Stuck, owner of the Exxon in Grantsville, Oakland Oil & Propane and several other businesses, spoke in favor of Sunday sales last year.
The cashiers at Exxon counted that 2,417 customers were turned down for Sunday alcohol sales from the beginning of the year until December 15, 2013, according to Sisler. If each customer spent $30 it would have yielded a gross revenue of $72,510.
“We turn a lot of people away on Sunday. We are not only losing alcohol sales, we are also losing in-store sales,” said Sisler previously. “Two years ago the alcohol tax went up 3 percent from 6 to 9 percent and that 3 percent goes to education.”