By Gabriel Monte CNJ Staff Writer
Clovis voters approved a proposal to allow Sunday alcohol sales in bars and restaurants in Tuesday’s municipal election.
More than 55 percent of 5,264 votes cast addressing the initiative were in favor of Sunday sales that would be limited to purchases by the glass.
City attorney Dave Richards said it will take at least a month before Clovis restaurants and bars can serve alcohol on Sundays.
He said the City Commission will have to declare the results official, which would probably happen later this week. Then businesses that wish to serve alcohol on Sundays will have to apply for a special license from the state.
“Sunday alcohol sales at Clovis restaurants are not likely to begin until this time next month at the earliest,” Richards said Tuesday night.
A group called Citizens for Clovis Progress was the driving force behind the initiative. Proponents said allowing alcohol sales on Sundays in bars and restaurants would increase revenue in Clovis by keeping residents who would otherwise leave for other cities that allow them to have drinks with their meals. They also said the proposal was about personal choice.
Alcohol sales by the glass and package are already permitted the other six days.
“I think this will bring a positive change for Clovis,” said Robin Howe, a spokesman for Citizens for Clovis Progress.
Howe said he believes that the proposal’s success was based on the principle that people should be given the choice whether they want to consume alcohol on Sunday.
“Even though the issue at hand involved alcohol sales on Sunday, the real root of the matter was freedom of choice,” Howe said.
The group started a three-month signature drive in October and recruited some local restaurants as collection points.
“There was a lot of work that went into this by a lot of people, and by a lot of local businesses,” Howe said.
Critics of the proposal said adding a day to serve alcohol would increase alcohol-related incidents and sends the message to children that drinking and driving was acceptable.