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Could 2018 bring stronger drinks and more drunk driving?

Oklahoma is not unlike other states in its punishment of drunk driving. What does actually set Oklahoma apart from the majority of the US is the ban on full-strength beers and wines in Oklahoma's convenience and grocery stores. Currently, no beer higher than 3.2 percent alcohol content can be sold on the shelves of such stores and sale is reserved for liquor stores and other highly regulated stores that open Monday through Saturday.

A new bill has passed through the House and Senate and only hinges on voter approval before being instated in 2018 allowing easier access to stronger alcohol. The bill would permit the sale of beer and wine with a higher alcohol content to be sold at convenient stores and supermarkets until 2 a.m. and even on Sundays.

Opponents believe the bill, if passed in November by voters, will further enable problem drinkers, underage drinking as well as social consequences that are not positive.

Will the availability of stronger alcohol at gas stations and convenient stores until the early morning hours lead to more drivers leaving their houses on a beer run? Will the occurrence of drunk driving accidents spike in correlation? If the vote is approved, it remains to be seen.

In the meantime, if you have been hurt by a drunk driver or you have lost a loved on to a drunk driver, know that you have recourse. An Oklahoma attorney, knowledgeable in drunk driving accidents can be with you every step of the way to offer support during your recovery and rehabilitation. If access to stronger alcohol becomes a reality in 2018, be careful on the streets and if you are out after twilight, exercise extra caution.

Source: koko.com, "Oklahoma lawmakers OK bill expanding strong beer, wine sales," May 26, 2016

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