Alcohol Sales in Small Cities

A ruling today by the Alabama Supreme Court raises questions about the legality of alcohol sales in some small Alabama cities. Today's decision in a Blount County case effectively overturns a 2009 law that allowed cities with a population of at least 1,000 – and located in a dry county – to hold a vote on alcohol sales. The Court struck down the law because municipalities in Blount, Clay and Randolph Counties were excluded – violating the Equal Protection Clause. Almost 40 small Alabama towns with a population between 1,000 and 7,000 have voted to "go wet" since the law was passed – including several towns here in East Alabama. According to legal analysts, today's ruling means that those towns will have to give up alcohol sales, and the tax revenue that come with it, until the legislature can pass a new law that includes all counties.


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