Local News

Towns, cities join Wake, Durham counties in allowing Sunday morning alcohol sales

Posted August 7, 2017 10:26 p.m. EDT
Updated August 8, 2017 4:41 p.m. EDT

— The “brunch bill,"which allows the sale of alcohol at 10 a.m. on Sundays, passed Monday in Wake and Durham counties as several other cities and towns voted on whether to raise a glass a little bit earlier.

For local officials, the changes that come with the bill mean more than the ability for restaurants to serve alcohol two hours earlier on Sundays.

Some acknowledged concerns over alcohol abuse and effects on religious services.

“Looking at the values of people in Wake County, I just wanted to share another perspective,” said Wake County Commissioner James West.

West voted against the bill, which allows local governments to decide whether to allow sales of alcohol beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays instead of noon.

Raleigh and Carrboro were among the first to pass the ordinance in early July. West believed Wake County should wait and see whether the bill is successful in other places, but others felt there was no need for a delay.

“I think it is a reasonable approach to a situation that could satisfy a lot of needs in our community,” said Wake County Commissioner Sig Hutchinson.

Hutchinson said the bill makes the area more business friendly, which is good for the economy.

“There are so many great places in Wake County to get out and have a brunch,” he said.

While the “brunch bill” passed in Wake County with just one vote against it, it passed unanimously Monday night in Garner.

“It’s not a subject to be taken lightly,” said Garner Town Councilman Gra Singleton. “I’m in favor of moving forward with the bill.

The bill also unanimously passed in Clayton, where Police Chief Blair Myhand said that DWI-related crashes have actually declined in recent years.

“Pretty much across the state of North Carolina, we’ve received fewer DWI-related crashes and, in fact, only about 2 percent of our crashes since 2014 are DWI related,” he said.

While some council members were concerned that the passage of the bill meant alcohol would be served at the same time religious services were occurring, others did not think the change would deter people from attending.

“My thoughts are if people are going to church, I don’t think they’re going to make a choice between going to one or the other,” said Councilman Butch Lawter

The bill also passed unanimously in the City of Durham.

In Fayetteville, there was a discussion about the bill but no vote was taken.