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Issue Position: Mai Tai's and Margaritas at Your Local Grocery Store?

Issue Position

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Well sort of. Last fall Washington voters overwhelmingly voted to get the state out of the liquor business. Large grocery stores that are over 40,000 square feet will be allowed to sell hard alcohol. Small grocery stores and convenience marts are prohibited from selling these products under the initiative voters passed. The old liquor stores that were owned by the state have been exempted from this size restriction and were auctioned off last week. Although the state is leaving the liquor business I think it is time for us to reflect on this change and recognize that no matter who sells alcohol, we all bear a responsibility as a community to reduce alcohol abuse and driving. As far back as I can remember we have had yearly tragedies involving young people, alcohol, and car crashes. Although the rate of drunk driving fatalities has actually decreased in the last 20 years, a single life lost is one too many. I spent 25 years as a police officer and have seen societies values change. It's no longer funny when somebody gets drunk and drives. It's much more common for a friend or a relative to ask a person to hand over the keys if they've been drinking. Designated drivers are now common place. But as we transition to private alcohol sales, it is a great opportunity for us all to talk with our friends and family members about how to intervene when someone drinks and drives. If all else fails it's our responsibility to grab a phone and dial 911, and maybe save someone's life.


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