Rally against Alcohol

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The wet versus dry issue is always on the front burner in Region 8.  Now the group against liquor is taking a new approach.  A rally is planned for this Saturday hosted in part by the Arkansas Family Coalition.  The purpose of the rally is to address what they call a growing problem with alcohol in Arkansas.

"It's just boom, boom, boom one after the other.  It just seems there's nothing we can do about it," said Bob Hester.

The issue: alcohol permits in Arkansas.  Bob Hester said there is a growing problem with liquor in the state, others disagree.

"I don't think there's a problem with it at all.  I think everyone is entitled to their opinion about anything that goes on," said Godsey's Grill owner Lisa Godsey.

Godsey said there are rules set by the Alcohol Beverage Control Board they have to follow to get the permit and to keep it.

"It's not a free for all.  There are certain restrictions and guidelines that are set down by the ABC board," said Godsey.

Hester said those rules aren't strict enough.

"I believe we need some different board members and also the application process is very unfair to the opposition," said Hester.

Anytime there is an applicant there is always opposition, but Hester said he doesn't think the opposition makes much of a difference.

"We go before the board with everything.  We get down there and walk away with another alcohol permit," said Hester.

For permit holders like Godsey, she doesn't see a problem.  If anything she said they are more closely watched.

"At any time the ABC board can come in here and do an audit on us just like they can any business it's not like we're trying to hide something we're pretty much an open book," said Godsey.

Godsey said proceeds and taxes from liquor sales also serve a higher purpose.

"We have things we have to pay off with the city and the county with the taxes and everything.  Anything that we have that's left over will go to our non-profit which is the Women's Crisis Center," said Godsey.

"I don't think you could ever raise enough taxes to undo the damage that alcohol does," said Hester.

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