Modernizing Liquor Laws Often Elusive

Modernizing Liquor Laws Often Elusive

The recent failure of an attempt to increase the number of liquor stores in Clarksville - from a limit set in 1963 - shows that the unholy alliance of liquor and religion is alive and well. Clarksville liquor store owners and local pastors opposed the increase, and it failed in the city council.

Clarksville Council Rep Deanna McLaughlin proposed the increase after two soldiers, looking to open a store, were told that no licenses were available. The 12 store rule was set back in 1963, when Clarksville had under 35,000 residents. Now the city has grown to over 130,000, but the number of liquor stores has remained the same because of the local store limit.

Clarksville liquor store owners understandably opposed the increase, because the antiquated limit increased the value of their stores. Pastors cited public safety concerns over increased access to alcohol.

Although local officials initially voiced no public safety concerns, the proposed increase died by a 9-3 vote at an October council meeting.

The defeat is a reminder that change is not easy with liquor laws.                             

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