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Ark-La-Tex In-Depth: Booze on the ballot - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Ark-La-Tex In-Depth: Booze on the ballot

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Nash, Texas -

It's been a highly debated issue for years in Northeast Texas.
    
Should you be able to purchase alcohol close to home?
    
With about 82 percent of the counties in the state being wet, more communities are following the trend.
    
Now Nash, Texas is taking a hard look at the issue.
    
Voters will decide this fall whether to sell alcohol within the city limits of Nash in Bowie County or still cross the state line into Arkansas for their spirit of choice.
    
City council members recently approved a petition to put the issue on this year's election ballot.
    
You may remember, propositions for the sale of alcohol in Texarkana, Texas, failed in 2006 and 2011.
    
Residents in Nash also voted against it in 2008.
    
While it was narrow margain, many people are still divided on the issue.   

"My main concern is them having wrecks and killing a whole lot of folks," said Mattie Martin, Nash resident.  

"People can drink more at home and don't have to travel as far, it would actually be a whole lot safer," said Michael Williams, Nash resident.
    
According to the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission, there were 545 elections attempting to legalize alcohol sales in some form between 2004 and 2011, with a success rate of 77 percent.
    
During that same period, only two communities voted to prohibit the sale of alcohol.

"It is the trend, I think most of the elections last year that happened went wet, explained Sonja Hubbard, EZ Mart CEO. "We had several markets, including Sulphur Springs and Linden, Texas that went wet."

Hubbard oversees 19 stores in the Texarkana area.

Eight of them are on the Arkansas-side and sell beer and wine.
    
She says the company's Nash location would definitely see an increase in sales.

Texarkana, Texas, is considered a "damp" county because it sells mixed beverages in certified restaurants.
    
In previous elections, opponents of selling alcohol for off-premises consumption said the measure would cause a spike in crime.
    
Meanwhile, supporters said Texas was missing out on revenue.
    
The option to legalize the sale of alcohol will be on the Nash ballot in November.

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