Council could cut late night liquor sales short - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

  • Do you think cutting back liquor store sales from 4 a.m. to 2 a.m. would help lower crime rates?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Yes, 4 a.m. is too late to buy alcohol
    36%
    36 votes
    No, it would only hurt business
    53%
    53 votes
    Indifferent
    11%
    11 votes

Council could cut late night liquor sales short

Posted: Updated:
Salah Al-Hindawy Salah Al-Hindawy
many stores like Liquor Zone on West Broadway are still trying to get approved for the special 4 a.m. license, right now they have to close at 2 a.m. many stores like Liquor Zone on West Broadway are still trying to get approved for the special 4 a.m. license, right now they have to close at 2 a.m.
Councilman David James Councilman David James

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Could a proposed cut off time for alcohol sales help fight crime in Louisville? That's what some Louisville Metro Council members are hoping, but liquor store owners say the idea and the label is not only unfair, it's bad business.

The proposed ordinance that will be first introduced Thursday night only affects liquor stores.

You've heard the old saying, "Nothing good happens after 2 a. m. "several Metro Council members are believers, "I do go along with that," said District 6 Councilman David James.  James is among those who want to end liquor store alcohol sales at 2 a.m.  Right now, 28 Louisville liquor stores have special licenses allowing them to stay open until 4 a.m. and  89 percent are in Districts 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of West Louisville. James says crime is happening right around those stores. 

James said, "When I actually looked at the numbers from the police department, I was amazed!"

Police statistics obtained by WAVE 3 News show a huge concentration of what LMPD call alcohol and drug involved arrests from January of 2012 to May of 2013 around those west Louisville stores.  District 4 had more than 3,400 arrests in that time period with charges ranging from assault to manufacturing meth to murder. But liquor store owners say just because crime is happening in that area of town, it does not prove it wouldn't happen if the stores weren't there.

And many stores like Liquor Zone on West Broadway are still trying to get approved for the special 4 a.m. license, right now they have to close at 2 a.m.

More than 100 customers have signed a petition to help them get the special license.

Liquor Zone's Salah Al-Hindawy said, "The crime is not around this area right here."

A big beef with many liquor store owners, bars and restaurants would not fall under the ordinance and can continue serving alcohol through 4 a.m.  Liquor store owners say it's not fair to them or to their customers who work late shifts.

"It doesn't make any sense," Al-Hindawy said, "We are asking to stay open late because there are a lot of people working late and not everybody is working for the government from 9 to 5."

James said of hurting the liquor stores right to do business, "I don't believe it's going to cause them to go out of business, but I do believe it will have a safety factor for the community and that's very important."

The ordinance will be introduced Thursday night and then be open for discussion next week.  Metro Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton is the primary sponsor. Bryant Hamilton has taken on liquor stores in her District 5 area of west Louisville in the past, also citing crime as the reason. 

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