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Kroger's hours for Sunday alcohol sales to be decided in Nov. election

Published: Friday, October 6, 2006

Updated: Sunday, February 14, 2010 23:02


Lauren Fleming

Under its current D-6 liquor permit Kroger is allowed to sell wine after 1 p.m. and beer all day Sundays.

Oxford voters will have a chance to decide Nov. 7 on an issue that will have some Miami University students looking forward to expanding their alcohol purchasing possibilities, and some residents concerned that a current local problem will only be exacerbated.

If passed, Issue 27 will expand the sale of wine and mixed beverages Sundays from 10 a.m. to midnight at Oxford's Kroger.

At Kroger, beer is sold all day Sunday, and wine is currently only sold after 1 p.m. under its D-6 liquor permit. This permit varies from state to state at Kroger stores, said Abe Lawson, assistant manager at Kroger.

Lawson said that if this issue passes, he doubts that there will be an increase in sales.

"I don't think would show a spike in sales," Lawson said. "Customers always inquire about how late we sell liquor at night, but few ask when we start selling on Sunday and why."

Stores that already sell liquor on Sundays include Wal-Mart and U Shop. Wal-Mart sells all liquor after 1 p.m. and U-Shop, which has a bar license until 2:30 a.m., can sell liquor on Sundays as long as it is bottled at or below 44 proof. Oxford Spirits, Oxford's only full-service liquor store, is closed Sundays.

Other businesses said they do not feel threatened by the possibility of losing sales if Issue 27 were to pass.

Andrew Reber, a senior at Miami who works at U Shop, said he thinks that the issue is not going to be a very big deal to students.

"I doubt we would see any change in sales if the issue passes," Reber said. "(Sunday) is our slowest day of sales."

The Den, also located uptown, cannot sell wine or distilled alcohol at all on Sundays - it only sells beer.

"I don't see a big deal with this issue," said sophomore Chrissy Rother who works at the Den. "People are going to buy alcohol on any other day anyways, so what is the difference if it can now be sold for a longer time on Sundays."

Rother said that a community member came to her residence about three weeks ago with a petition in favor of wine and mixed beverage sale on Sunday at Kroger.

Various churches and religious organizations are opposed to the passage of Issue 27, including the Oxford United Methodist church and Christian Student Fellowship.

Fred Shaw, senior pastor at Oxford United Methodist Church, said he believes regardless of whether Issue 27 passes or not, the real issue at hand is irresponsible consumption.

"The problem is not whether or not Kroger will be permitted to increase the availability of alcohol, but rather the present irresponsible use of alcohol by legal drinkers and its accessibility to underage drinkers," Shaw said.

Shaw stressed that more important than Issue 27 is the fact that the community must work together to ensure the safety of Miami students and Oxford residents. He cited statistics from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism showing that alcohol contributes to about 1,400 deaths and 500,000 injuries per year for college students.

The crimes during the first week of the 2006-07 school year, Shaw said, are an example of how this problem is prevalent at Miami.

"I think the culture has changed significantly, and self-policing would be a whole lot better than legislation," Shaw said.

Ben Williams, former leader of the Student Christian Fellowship, agreed with Shaw that Issue 27 is not a major problem on its own, but that it will not help the culture of drinking at Miami.

"I don't think this measure will increase the drinking problem at Miami; I think it will provide easier access to a piece of the problem," Williams said.

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