Petition to take alcohol sales to a vote in Donley County - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Petition to take alcohol sales to a vote in Donley County

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CLARENDON - Alcohol could soon be a lot easier to come by in one Panhandle county.

For decades Donley County has been dry and attempts to change that have failed. But after close to 600 residents signed a petition, alcohol sales could be legal by the end of this year.

"It will be good for the business and also be good for the city," Clarendon business owner Jesus Hernandez.

Close to 600 Donley County residents signed a petition to call an election to legalize alcohol sales.

Hernandez, owner of J.D's Steakout, signed his name for the sake of his customers, many of whom are travelers coming through town on Highway 287.

"A lot of people been asking us for 16 years already that I've been in business every day," Hernandez said.

Supporters of the petition also say the taxes that would come with alcohol sales would help off-set recently raised property taxes and entice new sponsors to the local rodeo.

Others fear the availability of alcohol could make for more drunk-drivers and more under-age drinking.

But many say legalizing alcohol sales might make the roads safer, especially for students here at Clarendon College, who get their alcohol out of town.

"Even since I was in high school, I've known about everyone being able to drink," 19-year-old Jay Hall said.

Hall attended Clarendon College for a year and says there was never a shortage of liquor. But it was all bought miles away at the liquor store in Howardwick, or even farther in Amarillo or Estelline.

"If you were able to get alcohol in town if would probably reduce the number of accidents because they wouldn't have to drive so far to get it," Hall said.

The issue will go a vote in November and if the numbers resemble that of the petition you could soon have a beer with your steak in Clarendon.

The city of Howardwick in Donley County does legally sell alcohol and residents say if sales are legalized in the county it will end a long-time liquor monopoly there.

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