Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Alcohol Sales in Pineville??? Part 2

On December 8 the citizens of Pineville will decide the future of alcohol sales in the corporate limits of Pineville, courtesy of two out-of-town corporations (Walmart and Super 1) and a Texas consulting group (Texas Petition Strategies) that does this for a living.

Back on July 22 I shared right here in this blog about an effort by the "big box" stores to promote a petition to put alcohol sales on the ballot. In my opinion their tactics were very deceptive, and I explained that in that post. However, ultimately they were successful because they got just enough signatures to force a vote.

In a nutshell, they made it sound like if you signed the petition the only thing on the ballot would be alcohol sales in grocery stores. The reality is that the December 8 election will actually have 5 different options on the ballot, including options that would allow for bars, strip clubs, drive-through daiquiri shops, and alcohol sales in convenience stores, gas stations, and even drive-through "beer barns." Most who signed the petition had no idea how many options would be on the ballot - they simply thought they'd be voting on grocery store sales.

Having said that, my goal here is not to tell you how to vote. I simply want to help demystify the 5 options, and tell you in plan language what each option would allow.

Let's start with the actual language that will be on the ballot regarding the 5 options, or "Propositions" as they are officially called, and I will bold the key phrases. Remember, Pineville citizens, you will vote Yes or No on each one.)
  • Proposition 1: Shall the sale of beverages of alcoholic content containing not more than six percent alcohol by volume be permitted by package only and not for consumption on the premises in the City of Pineville, State of Louisiana?
  • Proposition 2: Shall the sale of beverages of alcoholic content containing not more than six percent alcohol by volume for consumption on the premises be permitted in the City of Pineville, State of Louisiana?
  • Proposition 3: Shall the sale of beverage alcohol containing one-half of one percent alcohol by volume and above for consumption on the premises be permitted in the City of Pineville, State of Louisiana?
  • Proposition 4: Shall the sale of beverages of alcoholic content containing one-half of one percent alcohol by volume and above by the package only and not for consumption on the premises be permitted in the City of Pineville, State of Louisiana?
  • Proposition 5: Shall the sale of beverages of high and low alcoholic content be permitted only on the premises of restaurant establishments which have been issued an "R" permit as defined by law in the City of Pineville, State of Louisiana?
    (This language comes from LA Revised Statute 26:588.)
There are several important terms being used in the legal language, and here's my attempt at a simpler explanation:
  • "no more than six percent alcohol" - this language is found in Props 1 and 2 and reflects the sales of "low alcohol" beverages, i.e., beer, wine coolers, etc. This is currently what is available in Ward 9 outside the city limits of Pineville - for example, along Highways 28E and 107.
  • "containing one-half of one percent alcohol by volume and above" - this language is found in Props 3 and 4 and reflects the sales of ANY alcoholic beverage, no matter the percentage of alcohol contained.
  • "by package only and not for consumption on the premises" - this language is found in Props 1 and 4 and allows the sale of packaged alcohol at retail locations in sealed containers not to be consumed on the premises. Examples would be liquor stores, grocery stores, drug stores, gas stations/convenience stores, beer barns, drive-through daiquiri stores, etc..
  • "for consumption on the premises" - this language is found in Props 2 and 3 and allows the sale of prepared alcohol beverages in restaurants, bars, strip clubs, lounges, theaters, etc. because all of these sales are for the purposes of consuming them ON the premises where the sale occurs.
  • "only on the premises of restaurants" - this language is found in Prop 5 and is the current status in Pineville where alcohol is only available for sale in restaurants.
You can see the perplexity because there are 2 descriptions of the type of alcohol that can be sold (low alcohol content and any alcohol content), and 2 types of locations where alcohol could be sold (off premises and on premises). And they're all mixed up! Then you have Prop 5 which allows all alcohol in restaurants only! Now you see the confusion.

In an effort to simplify how all the various options terms and definitions, here is a small table that hopefully explains it better:

PACKAGE SALES
Grocery & Convenience Stores, Liquor Stores, Drug Stores, Beer Barns, Daiquiri Shops, Etc.
CONSUMPTION ON SITE
Restaurants, Lounges, Hotels, Bars, Private Clubs, Strip Clubs, Theaters, Etc.
LOW Alcohol Content Prop 1 Prop 2
ANY Alcohol Content Prop 4 Prop 3
(Prop 5 would only allow for alcohol to be sold in restaurants only without any of the expansions listed above.)

There you have it! It all boils down to what Pineville wants. So here's what you do:
  • If you want alcohol to be sold in grocery stores, drug stores, convenience stores, gas stations, stand-alone liquor stores, beer barns and drive-through daiquiri stores, etc, then vote YES on Props 1 and/or 4.
  • If you want alcohol to be sold in restaurants, bars, strip clubs, lounges, hotels, theaters, etc, then vote YES on Props 2 and/or 3.
  • If you want alcohol to be available in restaurants only, as it currently is, without any expansion of alcohol sales, then vote YES on Prop 5.
  • If you want alcohol freely available in every form, then vote YES on all 5 options.
  • If you don't want want alcohol to be sold in any form in Pineville, then vote NO on all 5 options.
On December 8 THE CHOICE IS YOURS! And don't forget the early voting is Nov 24-Dec 1 (excluding Sunday, Nov 25) which you can do at the Courthouse or at Kees Park Community Center! It's your decision. Choose well.


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