Sunday alcohol sales hearing draws silence

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OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — The Oxford Board of Aldermen is expected to vote Feb. 18 on an ordinance allowing restaurants to sell liquor on Sundays.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1gMbxy8) that no one spoke for or against the proposal during a Tuesday hearing.

The city is proposing to allow restaurants to sell liquor, wine, light wine and beer by the drink on Sundays.

If a new ordinance passes, the wine and liquor element of the ordinance would require approval of the Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control.

It would not affect retail liquor and wine sales, which are limited to state-licensed package stores. State law limits when those stores can operate.

After decades of a near-total ban on Sunday alcohol, the city in 2011 legalized Sunday sales by the drink on University of Mississippi home football weekends, Mother's Day and Father's Day, along with Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve when they occur on Sunday. Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Last year, aldermen approved off-premises sales of light wine and beer every Sunday during the same hours.

Aldermen have said the two-year experience with occasional Sunday sales has shown most of the consumption accompanies meals rather than at late-night bars.

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Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, http://djournal.com

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