By Hannah Lester

The early bird gets the worm, and in this case, Alabamians will need to beat curfew to obtain alcohol.

The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board approved an emergency order on July 27 that imposed a restriction on hours of alcohol sales, according to a board release.

Any business licensed under ABC is required to stop selling alcohol between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Consumption on the premise will be required to end by 11:30 p.m. The order was not enforced until Aug. 1.

“The primary mission of the Alabama ABC Board is protecting the health, safety and welfare of our citizens and we take this mission very seriously,” said ABC Board Chairperson Col. Alan Spencer. “We are very sensitive to the economic impact this rule will have. This is a gut-wrenching decision we are making today, but it is also gut-wrenching to see the number of Alabamians who are suffering from this disease. On balance, I am compelled to vote in favor of the rule. This will be a very short duration and will relieve this restriction as soon as possible.”

The decision was made with businesses in mind, the release said. This rule gives businesses the option to continue sales and remain open, instead of closing due to the virus.

“Our hope is that reduced hours of alcohol service will decrease social gatherings and the transmission of COVID-19,” said ABC Board Administrator Mac Gipson. “Our number one goal is to protect the public and our license holders. We believe this emergency order will reduce the exposure to and spread of COVID-19.”