New Group Petitions for Alcohol Sales in Andrews

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

ANDREWS - A new group in Andrews is hoping to put the bubbly back on the ballot. They're calling for a vote allowing beer and wine sales. It failed the first time, but they aren't giving up saying it's needed to bring new development into the county.

NewsWest 9 hit the streets to find out what people are saying, and how this proposition may affect their community.

"I just want to buy a beer in Andrews!" Greg Hiland, Alcohol Sales Supporter, said.

A hot topic that found it's way onto ballots three years ago is now re-emerging in Andrews. "Promote Andrews," a group hoping to legalize beer and wine sales, is kicking off a new campaign.

"For 2010, we're trying to get the sales of alcohol back on the ballot for this year," Elizabeth Wheeler, with Promote Andrews, said.

They want to allow stores to sell beer and wine and to give restaurants the chance to offer mixed drinks, but this time around they're leaving out clubs and liquor stores.

"Right now, we're going to talk to the businesses first and the restaurants to see how they feel and get their support," Wheeler said.

Some of their supporters tell NewsWest 9, the community will be better off.

"I have lived in a lot of places and I have never seen any place ever with this amount of car accidents and a lot of them are coming back from the state line with liquor," Hiland said.

"We're losing millions of dollars a year to the surrounding counties when that money could stay in the city and profit Andrews," Wheeler said.

But not everyone thinks that's a good idea. NewsWest 9 spoke with several people in Andrews that say while it would allow the community to grow, it would also increase drunk driving and crime rates.

"I am totally against it," Andrews Neighbor, Judy Bailey, said. "Andrews has prospered all these years without it. I don't see why we need to bring it into our community."

"Monitored so that we know there's not underage drinking," Jeanine Christiansen, Another Andrews Neighbor, said. "We know it happens anyway if they go out of the county and buy it and bring it back. We have a real concern with drinking and driving, so perhaps if it was monitored closely in our county."

Promote Andrews needs 1,044 signatures to put it back on the ballot. Group leaders plan to go door-to-door to get them.

"I would say there are a lot of people passionate about this issue," Bailey said.