By Wyatt Goolsby
ANDREWS - Wet or Dry? It's a question back on the minds of many in Andrews. While one local group is pushing to let businesses sell beer and wine, another is fighting back. On Friday, NewsWest 9 spoke with the newly formed Keep Andrews Dry whose members said more alcohol will only cause more problems.
When it comes to alcohol in Andrews, there's no shortage of opinions. In just a few hours, NewsWest 9 managed to find some supporters of Keep Andrews Dry. It's a new group, but one that's sending out the same message as from years ago.
"You don't have to create more of a problem here than we already have, and so making it wet is not going to solve the issues, it's just going to escalate it," Debra Linton, member of Keep Andrews Dry, explained.
In February, NewsWest 9 told you about Promote Andrews, a group pushing to get beer and wine back on the ballot in town. Supporters of Keep Andrews Dry, including Debra Linton, have seen first hand the dangers of drunk driving in West Texas, which is why they say making alcohol more accessible is something they're fighting against.
"Snyder is proof of that," Linton said. "There is a seven year average of three rapes per year until they went wet and in the three year average went to eleven a year, and that was after the alcohol was introduced."
Members of Promote Andrews told NewsWest 9 letting local shops sell beer and wine is good for the local economy. They claim it could actually reduce a drunk driving problem.
"Instead of having to go to the next county, in order to get a six pack or anything else they want, they would have to drive 30 miles away instead of having to just call up a friend and say 'Hey go around the corner and pick me up another six pack'," Amanda Villalobos, President of Promote Andrews, explained.
While supporters for and against the sale of alcohol continue to debate, both sides are urging residents to think and research the issue carefully before making an opinion. For Debra Linton, the death of her daughter to a drunk driver in 2006 continues to motivate her to push to keep alcohol out of the stores.
"And if her death, can save one person, and keep someone else from drinking and driving that's what it's going to be," Linton added.
Next Friday, March 12th, supporters of Promote Andrews plan to hold a meeting at the Andrews Business and Technology Center at 7pm. They'll push to get 1,044 votes to get alcohol sales on the November ballot. Supporters of Keep Andrews Dry said they plan to hold a peaceful protest, and provide more information to the public.