Liquor ordinance sent back to committee by Metro Council - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Liquor ordinance sent back to committee by Metro Council

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The debate on whether to end liquor sales at stores at 2 a.m. continues. The debate on whether to end liquor sales at stores at 2 a.m. continues.
James Aleksa James Aleksa

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The debate on whether to end liquor sales at stores at 2 a.m. continues. The Metro Council voted in favor on Thursday of sending the ordinance back to the committee for further discussion.

The current ordinance as it read did not include stopping beer sales at 2 a.m., only liquor and wine. Some council members argued if the idea is to fix a crime problem leaving some alcohol available until 4 a.m. for purchase is not the solution.

Lucky Junior on 26th Street has been selling alcohol for 49 years. Manager James Aleksa doesn't understand why to the council would choose to try to shut down liquor stores at 2 a.m. and not bars. 

"If you are going to do one, you need everybody," said Aleksa.

The idea to push to stop liquor sales after 2 a.m. in Louisville was brought about as an effort to stop crime. Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton says right now 38 liquor stores are licensed to sell until 4 a.m. and most are in the west end. 

"We have to take control of our neighborhoods, this is a related issue," said Bryant Hamilton. 

Not every agrees the problems are alcohol related. "I really question and I said this in the committee meeting whether crime is caused by alcohol," said Councilman Jerry Miller. 

The owners of Lucky Junior say they back that statement. Aleksa's parents started the business decades ago and since the beginning they have sold beer, wine, and liquor until 4 a.m.

"I'm telling you the problem is not the liquor, it is the drug dealers," said Barbara Dill, Lucky Junior owner. 

For hours the council went back and forth on the proposed ordinance attempting to add amendments and make clarifications.

"I'm baffled at why some of my colleagues, if they are in favor of the ordinance as it stands today why they would not want to include beer, if the problem's alcohol," said Councilman Brent Ackerson.

Ackerson says he would be in favor if it comes back and beer is included. "I'm not in favor of passing a law that essentially doesn't do what it is intended to do."

In the end with a vote of 14-10, the ordinance was sent back to the committee for deeper discussion.

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