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Town updates liquor laws with ‘beer ordinance’

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By Graham Sweeney

Collierville has updated its beer and liquor laws to reflect recent changes made by the state.

On Monday night, the Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a “beer ordinance” that will alter several of the town’s policies as it relates to the sale of alcoholic beverages.

The board voted unanimously, although Aldermen Billy Patton and Tom Allen did so “reluctantly.”

James Lewellen, town administrator, said the ordinance would “bring the town in line with the changes that have occurred at the state level.”

“We can’t have rules that are different than the state,” he added.

Among the rules that have been tweaked:

• “High gravity” beers may now be sold in convenient stores. Beers with an alcohol content higher than 5 percent previously had to be sold in liquor stores. The cut off for “high gravity” beers that will be permitted in convenient stores is 8 percent.

• Liquor store hours were previously 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays. Hours of operation are now 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Liquor stores must remain closed on Sundays.

• Beer can now be purchased from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 3 a.m. on Sundays. Beer was previously unavailable at convenient stores on Sundays and could only be purchased from noon to 11:30 p.m. at restaurants. Lewellen said city officials “resisted” this change most.
“We liked it the way it was,” he told board members.

• Individuals with DUI convictions are no longer prohibited from applying for alcohol permits or server permits.
Before the motion was made to pass the ordinance, Patton noted that the changes were not “arbitrarily picked.”
“Our legal team was approached to keep the town within state law,” he added.

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