Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Residents in Alabama's last dry county vote to allow alcohol sales in two rural communities

Continuing a "wet" trend in much of the South, alcohol will now be served legally in every county in Alabama. Residents in rural Ashland (population 1,980) and Lineville (population 2,320) voted on Tuesday to allow alcohol sales within city limits, reports The Associated Press. Alcohol sales will still be illegal outside Ashland and Lineville in the rest of Clay County (Encyclopedia of Alabama map), which has 605 square miles and has a population of about 13,500.

"Opponents argued against legalizing alcohol sales on moral and public-safety grounds," AP reports. "But supporters say allowing the sale of alcoholic beverages will help stimulate business in the rural, east Alabama county. Bootleggers have operated in Clay County for years, and possession of small amounts of alcohol in the county has been legal. The issue last came up for a countywide vote in 1986, when church opposition killed a proposal to go wet." The same refrain has been heard in much of rural America since the end of Prohibition, but less often in recent years, most recently noted here.

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