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County-wide alcohol sales proposed for Limestone

ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – Petitions will be circulating soon calling for a liquor referendum that would affect all of Limestone County. Alcoholic beverages are already available in the incorporated areas of the county, but this measure would expand that to include the entire county. Proponents say it would mean more money for schools and road improvements.

Of course, it’s not a question of being able to get a drink in limestone county. It’s more of a question of how far are you willing to drive.

“Even though its probably going to be tough and its pretty controversial, I’m sure, I feel like its best for Limestone County to have the option,” says Seth Parker, who is leading an effort to bring the issue up for a vote across the county.

Parker says in a few days, the petitions will be out and available for residents to sign if they want to see the measure on a referendum.

“Based on our research, we figure we’re missing out on a million dollars a year and that number is probably closer to $1.2 to $1.5 million dollars thats going to places like Huntsville and Madison. Athens is getting their portion, of course, so at least some of it is staying home,” Parker says.

The City of Athens approved legal sales a decade ago and typically gets over $600,000 a year now from the sale of alcohol. Much of that money goes to the school system. It would be up to the county commission to decide how Limestone County would use the additional funds, if voters approved it.

Parker says he’s only cautiously optimistic the measure will pass because so many have a moral or religious objection. He also says voters in Athens would likely oppose it because of increased competition. He hopes to get the measure before voters in January.

7 comments

  • Seth Parker

    If anyone would like any more information about the Limestone BEER (Better Education Economic development & Roads) Initiative, they can go to limestonebeer.com or facebook.com/LimestoneBEER

    • Michael

      Evidence shows that legalization decreases DUI. Drivers are less likely to crack one open on the road if they don’t have to go all the way to Huntsville or Decatur to get a beer. Less driving distance = less drunk driving.

    • Seth Parker

      Michael is right. Statistics prove it. Athens has been wet for a decade. Alcohol related death rate has not increased. Moulton went wet. A year later, their DUI arrests were DOWN. Drinking in the county exists whether sales are legal or not.

      • Michele Compton

        We also need to take a level of personal responsibility. Responsible adults should not be punished for the actions of the irresponsible. Let’s go ahead and ban cars, cell phones, and plastic. Those are responsible for more deaths per year than alcohol.

    • Jon Turner

      We live in a society where no one wants to take responsibility for their actions. Don’t blame the substance. Blame the people for making bad choices. Limestone has to be the most wet, dry county in the state. Athens, Decatur, Huntsville, and Madison ALL sell within the county. The only difference is that Limestone doesn’t get a share of the tax money.

      While we’re at it, the last drunk driving death in Limestone County happened in a …….wait for it……….dry portion of the county.

    • Mark Cumber

      Well, at least we won’t have drunk drivers driving ALL THE WAY INTO THE NEXT COUNTY to get drunk! People are going to drink if they want to drink. If you want to make them DRIVE to DRINK, expect to see them DRIVE DRUNK! I remember Athens when it was dry. When I moved there, I had never seen so many drunk drivers in my life! I’ve almost been hit twice, one time the guy was actually traveling IN THE WRONG LANE of HWY 72 and nearly hit me and my family head-on! Mind you, all this was BEFORE they lifted the ban on alcohol in Limestone County. But don’t let your opinion be corrupted by logic…

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