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Next week fiscal court will take up an ordinance that would allow the sale of liquor by the drink at restaurants in the county. We think magistrates should say yes.
The measure would allow establishments that seat at least 100 patrons and get more than 70 percent of their sales from food to serve alcohol by the drink on Sundays. It would allow establishments such as Claudia Sanders Dinner House, the Persimmon Ridge Golf Club, the Cardinal Club and a few others to sell liquor on Sunday, just as more than 60 businesses in the city can do now.
The law would not allow the establishment of "bars" in the county as some critics have suggested. The law would simply level the playing field for establishments in the city and county. The present law is especially hurtful to restaurants at golf courses and country clubs because the bulk of their restaurant business takes place on Saturday and Sunday. Take away Sunday and you slice off a good portion of their income.
We understand why many oppose the sale of liquor on Sunday. They not only have religious reasons for opposing the sale of liquor on Sunday, they fear adding one more day of liquor sales in the county simply increases the number of alcohol-related problems the county faces. It is certainly true that alcohol consumption is at the root of many social ills. Law enforcement officials say alcohol ( and drugs) is responsible for much of the county's problems with theft, child abuse, and domestic violence. Alcohol is a major cause of lost productivity in America's - and the county's -- businesses and industry. No doubt if all of the alcohol in all of the world were poured down a salt mine and mankind forgot how to make hooch, the world would be a better place.
Still. Still, folks are going to drink, and some want to and will drink on Sunday. Liquor on Sunday is available in Jefferson County, and just across the city limits in Shelbyville. Yet no one has heard opponents of alcohol sales come before the Shelbyville City Council and ask that sales on Sunday be halted. No one has circulated a petition asking the county to go completely "dry." Probably because they know voters would reject that.
So the fair thing to do is give establishments in the county the same privileges their brethren in the city have.