Oklahoma Attorney General Claims State Alcohol Law Is 'Unenforceable'

Wednesday, January 1st 2020, 6:26 pm
By: Storme Jones

The Oklahoma Attorney General said a law requiring liquor store owners to live in the state is likely unconstitutional.

In an opinion, A.G. Mike Hunter said the law in the state constitution requiring liquor store owners and wholesalers to have lived in the state for at least five years is unenforceable.

In a seven-page opinion, Hunter cites a similar two-year residency requirement in Tennessee that was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court over the summer. In a 7-2 decision, the court said, requiring store owners to reside in the state is a "heavy burden."

Hunter said that ruling "dismissed virtually all arguments that could be made in favor of residency requirements."

"We believe the U.S. supreme court would now hold those requirements to be unconstitutional," Hunter wrote.

The requirement was updated in the state constitution as part of sweeping alcohol reforms in 2016.  The residency duration was changed from 10 years to 5 years as part of state question 792.