Lubbock approves alcohol sales

Staff and wire reports

A pair of propositions passed, reversing long-standing prohibition of alcohol in Lubbock County.

Proposition One, which allows alcohol sales in Lubbock County for off-premise consumption, passed with nearly 32,313 votes, 65 percent of the vote.

Of the 50,177 who voted, more than 80 percent voted in the early period from April 27-May 5.

Previous measures have failed in the city of 210,000 residents. This time, opponents expressed fears of more underage drinking and liquor stores being built in poor neighborhoods.

After a petition drive got the issue on the ballot, supporters said the city should be more progressive, citing convenience, paying a fair price for alcohol and economic growth.

Since the 1930s, Lubbock County residents who wanted packages of alcoholic beverages have had to drive to an series of stories outside of the county known as The Strip.

Beer, wine and spirits have been available for sale at bars and restaurants since 1972. Proposition Two, which passed by a 34,560-15,191 margin, allows mixed drinks to be sold at those businesses as well.

When alcohol will be available at the corner grocery store or gas station is still up in the air.

Pinkie’s and Majestic Liquor, which own all the stores on The Strip, filed suit against the city and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission on May 4 regarding alcohol zoning ordinances the city approved in November in anticipation of the vote.

The suit contends the city overstepped its authority by limiting the size of package stores and specifying what kinds of businesses could sell alcohol in the same area as package stores, Zach Brady — attorney for the stores — told the Lubbock Avalanche Journal last week.

A district judge will decide later in May whether to grant an injunction.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.