Oklahoma’s New Alcohol Laws Raise Concerns

December 3rd, 2018
woman selecting wine

New liquor laws went into effect in Oklahoma as of October 1st, 2018. While these changes have been well-received by beer drinkers and alcohol distributors, they have raised concerns with substance abuse and public safety experts. The changes have many concerned that expanded access could cause harm and raise the potential for abuse. A detailed article on the changes is available here.

About the Changes

Under the revised law, grocery and convenience stores can now sell beer and wine from 6:00am-2:00am, seven days a week. Liquor stores can now operate from 8:00am-12:00am, Monday through Saturday. Other changes include:

  • Gas Stations & Grocery Stores: These stores are now able to sell refrigerated beer above 3.2% alcohol-by-volume. These stores are not allowed to sell liquor.
  • Convenience & Grocery Stores: These stores can now—in the same fashion as liquor stores—sell beer above 8.99% alcohol-by-volume and wine above 15% alcohol-by-volume.
  • Wine & Spirits Stores: These stores are now able to sell refrigerated beer. They can also sell non-alcoholic items—provided that sales of these items do not surpass 20% of their monthly gross.

A Potential for Abuse

Integris—a healthcare provider—ranked Oklahoma seventh nationwide for binge drinking in 2016. They state 13% of adults in Oklahoma admit to binge drinking within the past 30 days. In the same year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranked Oklahoma fifth for instances of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.

Drunk Driving a Growing Risk

A Senior Specialist in Public and Governmental Affairs for the American Automobile Association (AAA) of Oklahoma states Tulsa County had 557 alcohol-related crashes in 2015 and 548 in 2016. Alcohol-related fatalities increased from 17 to 24 within that same time period. The State Department of Health says Tulsa reports DUI numbers 20% higher than the state average, and alcohol-related fatalities not specific to automobiles rose from 21 to 27 in the county.

We Can Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, call Graves McLain right away at 918-359-6600. When you call one of our experienced Tulsa, Oklahoma Car Accident Attorneys, we will speak with you for FREE and determine the best course of action.

We review every detail of your situation at no cost to you—and fight hard to protect your rights. Trust our team, we are here to help. At Graves McLain, you will never pay an attorney’s fee up front—and you owe us nothing until we win your case. At Graves McLain, we don’t get paid until you do.

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