Personal choice, responsibilities at heart of alcohol sales vote

Freedom New Mexico

Voters will decide March 4 whether Clovis restaurants should be allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays.

We recommend they vote yes.

A yes vote supports freedom of choice first and foremost. It affirms the rights of individuals of legal consent to decide whether they wish to sell alcohol in their business on Sundays, or to buy and consume it.

We do understand that alcohol is an emotional issue for many, due mainly to the grief that arises when individuals have misused alcohol and damaged or taken untold numbers of lives.
And we do understand that for others it is a moral choice. They don’t want any alcohol sold anywhere, or at least they don’t want to expand sales and consumption options.

We appreciate the heartfelt concerns of well-meaning citizens such as Linda Teakell who told a Clovis News Journal reporter last week that alcohol abuse can be “devastating.” She is correct, it can be. However, that isn’t always — nor almost always — the case. Thousands of eastern New Mexico residents sell and drink alcohol responsibly every day.

People opposed to the Sunday sales also reject a valid business owner argument, voiced by many local restaurant owners who favor the Sunday-sales ballot issue. They have said they lose food business on Sundays because they are not allowed to serve alcohol with a meal.
Why should honest business folks’ practices be limited by drinkers who don’t follow rules of common sense any other day of the week? Here’s an example of one of those people:

Last week we received a press release from the New Mexico Department of Public Safety about a Bloomfield man arrested for DWI for the 13th time. The man was driving near Farmington with an expired license, had a marijuana pipe in his vehicle and was wanted for narcotics distribution in Arizona, police said.

Does anyone seriously believe his alleged actions — or those of others like him — could have been prevented if restaurants were not allowed to sell alcohol?

We want to be clear about this: Drinking and driving is a serious problem. Those who operate motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol are risking their lives and the lives of innocent people. When they’re caught they should go to jail. Repeat offenders should go to jail for a long time so they won’t be a risk to society, especially if they’ve been in accidents causing injuries or death.

The problem is not alcohol sales and consumption on Sundays or any other day of the week. It is a court system that has been too forgiving.

Crack down on DWI offenders.
Free up personal choice and allow responsible, law-abiding citizens to have a drink with their Sunday dinner out.

Vote yes in favor of Sunday alcohol sales.