Toccoa Commission Suspends ABC Licenses

Two Toccoa stores will not be able to sell alcohol for a period of time after having their Alcohol Beverage Control licenses suspended for selling to a minor.

Monday, Toccoa City Commissioners unanimously voted to accept the recommendations of the ABC Board to suspend the ABC licenses of both Raceway and Walgreen’s, both located on Big A Road.

According to city officials, both stores sold alcohol to an underage Stephens County Sheriff’s Office deputy on September 20.

Neither store denied the accusation at their respective hearings before city commissioners prior to their vote Monday.

In both cases, the ABC Board recommended a $500 fine and a 30-day suspension of the stores’ ABC licenses.

Toccoa City Manager Billy Morse did say that the city’s ABC Board did feel that in the case of Raceway, a special circumstance did apply.

“The board did feel that because Mr. Patel did voluntarily stop selling alcoholic beverages immediately after the sheriff conducted their operation and continued that for 12 days until the Marshal served notice, they (the board) felt like they should get credit for that towards their 30 days,” said Morse.

Toccoa City Commissioner Gail Fry asked how the city knew whether or not the store really did stop voluntarily for those 12 days.

Morse said it was based on what the city observed when entering the store.

“The only thing I can tell you is when the Marshal went there, he did see the alcoholic beverages were blacked out,” said Morse.

In addition, Toccoa City Attorney John Dickerson noted that the ABC Board made the recommendation to allow those 12 days to count after hearing evidence at its own hearing.

Commissioners did accept the ABC board’s recommendation to count those 12 days towards Raceway’s 30-day suspension.