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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Oklahoma Group Pushes to Make 3.2 Beer Just a Memory

Come November voters in Oklahoma might get the chance to allow grocery stores to sell more than just 3.2 alcohol by weight (4.05 alcohol by volume) beer.

Oklahomans for Modern Laws has launched a petition drive to collect enough signatures to allow grocery stores to sell higher alcohol beer and wine. The group is targeting visitors to the Oklahoma State Fair in Oklahoma City, held from Sept. 13-23, to try to get the bulk of the signatures.

Under the current Oklahoma law, consumers have to go to a liquor store to buy full-strength beer and wine. The beer cannot be refrigerated.

Oklahomans for Modern Laws must collect 138,570 valid signatures within 90 days to get the initiative placed on the ballot. If the initiative makes it to a vote, you can expect grocery and convenience stores on one side supporting the measure and liquor stores and Baptist Church groups opposing the idea.

Oklahoma has been one of the hardest states in the nation to buy a drink over the years. The state did not repeal Prohibition until 1959 and you could not buy liquor by the drink in the state until 1984.

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