The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

February 3, 2013

Beverages on the ballot

City Commissioner Mike Stuber will make a presentation to Garfield County commissioners at today’s meeting to ask for a vote on allowing liquor sales in restaurants on Sundays.

Thirty-five counties in Oklahoma already allow restaurants and clubs to serve liquor, wine and strong beer on Sundays.

In September, Payne County voters approved a measure allowing alcoholic beverages to be sold at restaurants and bars on Sundays.

We would support having a county measure allowing liquor sales in restaurants on Sundays on the ballot.

People generally support the idea for having more restaurants in Enid. It makes sense to allow people to vote on this.

This issue is about restaurant and retail recruitment more than anything else. Restaurants now only serve 3.2 percent beer, or so-called “non-intoxicating” beer, on Sundays. You can have can six beers, but good luck trying to buy a margarita on Sunday.

This won’t pave the road to immorality. Society already is dealing with alcohol-related issues six days a week. Mixed drinks are expensive, anyway, so we’re not sure how much the average citizen could afford to buy at one sitting.

Such a change wouldn’t have a negative impact on retail liquor sales, because those stores already are closed on Sundays. It also could increase sales for locally owned restaurants open on that day.

Garfield County is at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to recruiting national retail chains. Edmond, Oklahoma City and Tulsa already allow licensed restaurants to serve liquor and wine on Sundays.

More restaurant sales would mean more sales tax collections for our county. That’s always a good thing.

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