I have wondered about a very nice restaurant that I've been to in a dry county (White county, I think). They cannot sell wine; however, many patrons BYOB, and their waiter opens and pours it for them. They do charging a "corking" fee to open the wine.
Doesn't the law say, "sold for consumption on the premises?" Would the fee to open the bottle meet the definition of "sold" in the law so that you could not carry there?
Obviously just an academic question as I don't think many people will be too excited that they can carry at what might be a small handful of very small restaurants in dry counties in rural GA.
I have been to some restaurants that don't sell any alcohol, but that allow patrons to bring their own wine, which the restaurant will open and pour. It seems to me such establishments would not count as public gatherings.
What about people carrying at places that normally sell alcoholic beverages during certain hours, but the carrying in question takes place after the business is closed for the day, thus during a time frame (of at least several hours, if not 12-14 hours) when NO BEVERAGES ARE SOLD, but during which time some employees may have to remain at work to clean, process paperwork, re-stock the food in the freezer, etc?
This would not only be an issue as to employees, but also to their parents, spouses, and friends who may want to carry on their person or in their vehicles as they arrive to pick up or drop off the employee at the restaurant or pub in question.
If I had a girlfriend who worked at a bar and would not be getting off from work until 3 am, even if the bar closed at midnight and "last call" was quarter of twelve, I would certainly WANT to carry. Do you think I could do it legally without violating the "public gatherings" law?
Well, the law says establishments at which alcoholic beverages "are sold," not "are being sold," nor "are available for sale." I'd say a plain reading of that statute would weigh against the "but it wasn't open for business" defense.