Tillman County to vote on 'Liquor by the Drink'

Tillman County to vote on 'Liquor by the Drink'
Call a cab, Tipsy Tow or have a designated driver if you plan on drinking New Year's Eve. (Source KSWO)

FREDERICK, OK (KSWO) -Residents in Tillman County are getting another chance to approve a liquor by the drink law.

This would allow local restaurants and bars to serve high-point beer, liquor and wine.  Supporters say it would attract more visitors to the county. However, the opposition fears it could increase crime and drunk driving as well.

"At the rate things are going right now…we won't have a town to speak of in 20 years if we don't do something and that's my primary motivation," said President of the Frederick Chamber of Commerce, Ben Crawford.

Crawford is dedicated to helping the city grow economically, but still keep it safe by controlling the amount of alcohol consumed.

"That staff is trained not to serve obviously intoxicated people and they also have liability and they do and something happens they'll be criminally charged."

Residents in Tillman County can get alcohol at liquor stores right now, and there isn't a limit on how much you can buy. However, former District Judge David Barnett fears if this law passes, they will see an increase in DUI's and accidents.

"I believe that's the prevailing attitude in this community to control the use of liquor more tightly and liquor by the drink undermines that," said Barnett.

As for Deacon Glenn Redeker, of the First Baptist Church of Frederick, he agrees with Barnett and says he will not support this because of his faith and beliefs.

"I prefer that it did not pass because I think that's what Christ would want us to do. And I'm living my life the way he wants me to live it as an example," said Redeker.

The last proposal in 2014 was defeated by only four votes and that's why Crawford says it's important to fill out a ballot and voice your opinion, no matter where you may stand on the issue.

"Hopefully people will think this trough with logic and reason, not just based on emotion, particularly if they're not in favor of alcohol," said Crawford.

Tillman County is one of 21 counties in Oklahoma that does not allow liquor by the drink sales in bars restaurants.

The deadline to register to vote is June 3. Election day is June 28.

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