OK Lawmakers May Consider Strong Beer, Wine In Grocery Stores - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Oklahoma Lawmakers May Consider Strong Beer, Wine Sales In Grocery Stores

Posted: Updated:
State law currently only allows the sale of high-point beer and wine in liquor stores, bars and restaurants. State law currently only allows the sale of high-point beer and wine in liquor stores, bars and restaurants.
John Maisch, general counsel for the ABLE Commission, said allowing the public more access to wine and strong beers could cause a rise in underage drinking, drunken driving accidents and alcohol-related deaths. John Maisch, general counsel for the ABLE Commission, said allowing the public more access to wine and strong beers could cause a rise in underage drinking, drunken driving accidents and alcohol-related deaths.

Jennifer Pierce, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- What if you could pick up a bottle of wine at your next trip to the grocery store?

It's currently not possible in Oklahoma, but legislation allowing wine and strong beer to be sold in grocery stores will likely be considered by lawmakers next year.

J.D. Merryweather, one of the owners of Coop Ale Works beer brewery in northwest Oklahoma City, said he'd like to sell his product in grocery stores. He viewed it as a good opportunity for his business and a way to boost the local economy. State law currently allows Merryweather to only sell his high-point beer in liquor stores, bars and restaurants.

"For us it's more exposure, more availability," said Merryweather. "There's probably 40 other states that you can pick up wine and beer in grocery stores right now, so it's not like we're reinventing the wheel."

The state agency that regulates alcohol does not as support the idea of selling wine and strong beer in grocery stores. The Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission wanted citizens to consider the social problems passing such legislation could create.

"We think the more accessible you make alcohol beverages, the less control we as a society, we as government regulators, we as parents and grandparents, and school officials will have over who consumes that beverage," said John Maisch, general counsel for the ABLE Commission.

Maisch said allowing the public more access to wine and strong beers could cause a rise in underage drinking, drunken driving accidents and alcohol-related deaths. Oklahoma currently averages just over 240 drunk driving deaths per year while states that allow strong beer and wine sold in stores, like Texas, average about 1,000 alcohol-related deaths per year.

Maisch said the final decision will be up to lawmakers and the public. Maisch said the ABLE Commission will enforce whatever law is passed.

And most liquor store owners are against the idea of selling wine and strong beer in grocery stores because they say it would hurt their bottom line.

Powered by Frankly
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.