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Bulloch Local Government

Statesboro Toasts to New Alcohol Judge, Suspends 4 Business Licenses

April was the first month in which the city of Statesboro utilized an Administrative Judge to handle alcohol violations instead of bringing them before council and Judge Tom Peterson was not reserved in revoking alcohol sales licenses.

Peterson, a Vidalia attorney, works on a contract basis following the city’s approval of his proposal in April. He is compensated $850 per session, which occurs one time every other month.

Court hearings were held on April 26 for violations cited on April 11, and included the following establishments:

  • Walmart SuperCenter on Northside Drive
    • 1 charge of selling to persons under 21
    • 2nd offense in 3 years (had the look-back been the previous 5 years, this would be WalMart’s 3rd violation)
    • 15-day revocation
  • Emma’s at the Holiday Inn
    • 1 charge of failure to comply with mandate requiring employees to complete TIPS training (Training for Intervention Procedures) per Section 6-10 of the alcohol ordinance 
    • 1 charge of selling to person under 21
    • Minor sales yielded a 3-day revocation while the TIPS training issue was a 1-day revocation
  • 40 East Grill

Unbeknownst to the Statesboro Police Department, the Department of Revenue for the state was also checking businesses in the city of Statesboro on April 11 and Walgreens on Northside Drive was cited for their 5th and 6th violation of sales to persons under the age of 21.

Normally, when the City of Statesboro cites and punishes a business, the Georgia Department of Revenue follows up with an additional citation and punishment – essentially “piggybacking” on the local violation. In this instance, the City of Statesboro decided to  “piggyback” on the Department of Revenue’s citations from April 11 and revoked Walgreens’ alcohol license for 25 days. Walgreens will still be punished at the state level.

The next court session will be held in June as hearings are only held every other month.

For more on the Administrative judge, read the back story here.

The Statesboro City Council is set to hold a public hearing on a different section of the alcohol ordinance – pricing of beverages – on Tuesday, May 2.


Jessica Szilagyi is a former Statewide Contributor for

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