Alcohol sales won’t change much

Published 9:35 pm Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Many Lawrence County voters will have to decide if they think alcohol sales restrictions should be loosened at area convenience stores, a decision that will likely blur the lines between morals and economics.

Eight stores are seeking to be allowed to sell beer, wine and mixed beverages.

The Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Burlington is requesting voters’ permission to sell alcoholic beverages, as are the Speedway on Liberty Avenue in Ironton, the Rich Oil on South Third Street in Ironton, and the Clarks Pump N Shop stores at 7575 State Route 7 in Proctorville, 6288 State Route 7 in Proctorville, 1813 Liberty Ave. in Ironton and 409 Marion Pike in Coal Grove. Clark’s is also asking permission for Sunday sales at its store at 132 County Rd 450 in South Point.

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Ultimately, it will be up to the voters in each of these communities to make the decision base upon what they feel is best for the individual areas but it is important to remember that alcohol sales and consumption is legal. This decision should be based on economics and community interests not one’s own moral beliefs.

Overall it seems that passing these alcohol options will level the playing field between businesses in various parts of the county — and more importantly — across the Ohio River in Kentucky and West Virginia.

Allowing the additional stores to begin selling alcoholic beverages will likely just keep more of the money spent here in Ohio, therefore ensuring those tax dollars benefit us locally.

The argument that this will increase alcohol abuse simply doesn’t make sense because there are already multiple locations where alcohol is available in Lawrence County and many more right across the bridges.

Adults should use alcohol, like any other drug, responsibly. But those same individuals deserve the right to decide on whether or not the stores in their community should be able to offer these items.

Voters will have the chance to level the playing field and should look at the big picture before making a decision that will continue to force consumers to drive across the bridge and spend money elsewhere.

It may start with a trip for alcohol but likely will include groceries, gas, meals and more. Limiting the sales doesn’t deter drinking it just encourages driving farther to get it.