Bottoms up: Senate overrides Gov. Riley’s Sunday alcohol sales veto

The Alabama State Senate has overridden a veto by Gov. Bob Riley that would have halted Sunday alcohol sales in Shelby County.

By a vote of 18-11, the Senate overrode Riley’s veto of the bill.

The Alabama House of Representatives previously overrode Riley’s veto, but the Senate failed to do so last week, and several representatives, including Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) and Mike Hill (R-Columbiana), feared the bill would not pass before the legislative session ends Friday.

Prior to the legislation, the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board issued a deadline of Sept. 30 for restaurants that currently sell alcohol on Sundays to choose whether they would use their restaurant liquor license or their club liquor license.

After the bill passed both the House and Senate, Riley vetoed the bill because he said it was “unconstitutional.”

Riley spent time at the State House last week lobbying for senators to vote against overriding his veto, and he said he would work with businesses to comply with the ABC Board’s action or just have the Board not enforce the regulation.

In other alcohol-related legislation, the Senate passed a bill allowing the sale of gourmet beers in Alabama. The legislation allows the sale of beer with an alcohol content of 13.9 percent by volume.

The bill passed the Senate 22-9 and now goes to the governor.