Proposed bill would make it illegal for minors to enter liquor s - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Proposed bill would make it illegal for minors to enter liquor stores

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -  A bill in the Arkansas legislature could affect the number and location of liquor stores in the Natural State as well as who's allowed in them.

The bill has been endorsed from the House Rules Committee and if passed, it could mean a misdemeanor for certain minors to be in a liquor store.

House Bill 1024, filed by State Representative Mary Broadaway of Paragould, would make it a misdemeanor for a person under the age of 21 to enter a liquor store if they're not accompanied by a parent or guardian.

"I think it will help deter minors from coming in," David Upchurch told Region 8 News.

Upchurch, who works at Holiday Liquor in Paragould, said they don't often see minors try and come in to purchase alcohol.

"Most of them know or are afraid," Upchurch said. "Occasionally you have to correct them."

Upchurch explained that there are already practices in place that restrict a minor from certain actions if they're inside a liquor store.

"They're not allowed to touch any alcoholic beverages," Upchurch said. "Not allowed to touch any product inside the stores."

Upchurch said the store also regularly checks IDs. He said that deters minors to begin with.

"We try to card everybody, especially if they look under the age of 27," he said. "If they know a business is going to card them, they'll stay away from that business."

The bill also proposes changes to how many liquor permits can be issued per county. Right now, one liquor permit per 5,000 people in a county can be issued. The bill proposes upping the requirements to one permit to 7,500 people.

It also proposes that liquor stores not be located within a thousand feet of a school or church. Right now, that requirement is 200 yards or 600 feet.

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