Possible delay in alcohol sales - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/6/09

Possible delay in alcohol sales

Posted:
Lt. Brian Williams Lt. Brian Williams
Melissa Pierce Melissa Pierce

By Brittany Pieper - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - New complaints could mean new delays for stores who want to sell alcohol in Lubbock. These complaints come just before Lubbock businesses can start applying for alcohol permits on Monday.

Alcohol sales have been a heated debate in Lubbock for some time now.  First with the election, then a law suit against the city regarding zoning, and now residents filed two protests with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission against packaged alcohol sales permits in the city of Lubbock.

Local TABC representatives say these are different than any protests they've ever received, so they aren't sure how to handle them.  "I've never seen it done this way before.  A protest has to be against a specific location or person, but these are just blanket protests for anything that comes in," said Lt. Brian Williams with the TABC.

Williams says the filed protests could challenge any alcohol permits in the City of Lubbock. The protests cite a previous case in Brazoria County in which the State Attorney General's Office said a county wide election could not trump a city election. "It's their belief that the city should have had to have their own election to go wet. That the county wide election couldn't over rule that," said Williams. 

Melissa Pierce who chaired the pro-alcohol sales committee during the election says she thinks the protests just delay the inevitable, "I think another delay at this time is just kind of silly. The voters of Lubbock County made their voice loud and clear. It was an overwhelming majority who want alcohol in the stores in Lubbock County."

TABC officials say if their legal department decides this is a legitimate protest and have a hearing it could delay permits, or keep them from issuing any. "It shouldn't take any more than probably three or four weeks to get a hearing.  It could delay it that long," said Williams.

TABC's Lubbock office hopes to hear back from their legal department in Austin by Monday so they can keep those applying for permits updated. In the mean time, they plan to start processing permit applications so they will have them ready to go once they make a decision. 

NewsChannel 11 contacted Don Workman who says he did research for the parties who filed the protests, but they declined to comment.

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