Citizens deserve better

Published 3:05 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Right now, we don’t know for sure if House Bill 175, which would allow restaurants that currently sell alcohol on Sundays to continue to do so, will pass the Senate.

At press time on Tuesday, the Senate had yet to vote on whether to override Gov. Bob Riley’s veto of the bill, as the House did last Wednesday.

We hope the bill passes, because yanking away the ability to sell alcohol from restaurant owners, who invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to open here because they were told they would be able to sell alcohol on Sundays, is unfair.

However, simply grandfathering in alcohol sales for restaurants already here severely hampers the county’s ability to attract other important businesses, like restaurants, hotels and conference centers.

Limiting the sale of alcohol on Sundays in Shelby County does nothing to curtail drinking or to keep those who have been drinking off Shelby County roadways. In fact, it may enhance the problem. Shelby County residents who want to drink a beer while they eat wings and watch Sunday football will simply drive a little further — into Jefferson County — to do so.

Under those circumstances, why would any restaurant or hotel or similar facility ever want to locate in Shelby County?

The people of Shelby County deserve an even playing field. We deserve better than this legislation offers.