AL senator proposes to change state law governing sales of hard - WLTZ 38 | Columbus Georgia Regional News & Community

AL senator proposes to change state law governing sales of hard liquor

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Huntsville, AL (WHNT) - Liquor laws in Alabama which have their roots in the prohibition era need to be changed, so says a state lawmaker.

In Alabama, the government has a monopoly on hard liquor sales. But, a new legislation is aimed at changing that.

Senator Orr says, "This is something we're going to be looking at and are looking at the legislative level."

Prohibition may have died decades ago, but some of its lingering effects are still alive today in Alabama, one of eight states that maintain a government monopoly on hard liquor sales.

"Preliminary estimates say that we could save as much as 40 or 50 million dollars if we got out of the retail business," Orr explains.

State Senator Arthur Orr is drafting legislation that would close down the retail side of Alabama's alcohol beverage control board, a cost-cutting move that could save taxpayers tens of millions. State law currently prohibits private businesses from selling hard liquor unless they buy their supplies from the ABC Wholesale division, which also runs hundreds of retail locations from Muscle Shoals to Mobile. Orr's plan would close down those ABC stores, and eliminate the one-dealer system businesses currently abide by.

Orr says, "One of the things we'll have to consider as we look at getting out of the retail business is the impact on those employees now, but that's just part of the equation...Most of the other states have done it, pulling out of the control business, at least at the retail level."

Senator Orr says his legislation will also put a limit on the number of liquor stores able to operate in a given area.


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