Stomachs are turning at Columbia Baptist Association. Members are appalled at the thought of Sunday alcohol sales.
“For them to choose Sunday, which is designated as our day of worship, is really disappointing to us,” said Dr. Jerry Grandstaff of Columbia Baptist Association.
The proposed legislation stemmed from Sunday alcohol sales in restaurants. It would allow "off-premise" sales, meaning stores can sell alcohol too—but only after 1 p.m.
The other side applauded the idea and said it will increase sales tax—the city's hub for income.
“Anytime you make a purchase, that creates sales tax. And again, that sales tax goes to the city and adds to the general fund,” explained Bob Hendrix, executive director of Dothan Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Opponents said that’s their point: the city can increase revenue any time, not just on Sundays.
“I can understand from the business perspective why they may want that. But I also feel like, that having six days a week, they can certainly have some creative ways to increase revenue,” expressed Grandstaff.
Supporters believed there's more to it than just money. They said Sunday alcohol sales will minimize opportunities for drunk driving.
“Instead of going to a restaurant establishment and watching a sporting event, and having alcohol that afternoon, and then go drive home, maybe intoxicated, at least now after 1:00 they can go purchase whatever at the store and go home and watch that sporting event and not be driving,” said Hendrix.
Opponents said that's unrealistic.
“Anytime you increase the consumption of alcohol, you would also increase the determinate that's caused by it,” said Grandstaff.
Sunday alcohol sales will include liquor, wine, and beer. Come August 6th, the debate will be over, the ballots handed in, and fate will choose a side.