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Hillview hears negatives on alcohol

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By The Staff

HILLVIEW - It wasn’t on the agenda and there was no ordinance to consider.

However, members of the Hillview City Council had the opportunity Monday to listen to the concerns of two residents over the proposed acceptance of Sunday alcohol sales.

For Sherry Cook, it is a personal issue.

In 2004, her 20-year-old son was killed by a drunken driver on Mud Lane.

In 2007, she said 10 people were killed in Bullitt County due to drunken drivers and that jumped to 15 the next year.

“Why add more alcohol sales?” asked Cook. “The numbers are rising every year.”

Citing statistics from MADD, Cook said a person drives 87 times on average under the influence before they are caught for their first DUI.

She said her son was killed by a man who had multiple DUI convictions.

Instead of expanding the sale of alcohol to Sundays, she said the current laws need to be tightened.

While she doesn’t drink, Cook said she’s been at places enough times to know that many people leave bars and lounges at 4 a.m. in no condition to drive.

Cook was surprised councilman Randall Hill could endorse the addition of sales on Sunday since it was his stepson who was killed in that 2004 accident.

Hill said after the meeting that it was a tough decision. However, he had to consider the whole city and not just his personal feelings.

In response to a question from councilmembers, Hillview police chief Aaron Yates said his officers made 31 runs to the Hillview Lounge since May. During those runs, 13 arrests were made.

Most of the calls occurred from 1-4 a.m., according to Yates.

During the most current grant cycle, officers issued over 114 alcohol-related citations in the city, said Yates.

Mark Beard said that he is not against alcohol; however, he doesn’t believe you need more alcohol sales to bring in restaurants.

“There’s got to be a point that we stop,” said Beard.

He said the use of alcohol needs to be deglamourized in the world.

With the increase in alcohol, Beard said there would be more problems.

“As a citizen of this community, I would object,” said Beard. “Those who don’t drink have rights, too.”

At a special meeting recently, Hillview officials hashed out what they would like to see in the ordinance.

Again on Monday, they said it should be only for places which serve at least 70 percent food sales. They are also looking to shorten the sales period of alcohol from the current 4 a.m. until 2 a.m.

If an ordinance is passed, package liquor operations would not be allowed to sell on Sunday and only places meeting the 70 percent food ratio could serve malt beverages, wine or distilled spirits.

City attorney Mark Edison said he would have an ordinance to consider at the November meeting. It could be finalized by the end of the year.

In Shepherdsville, city officials are getting details on having a sample ballot to give them some guidance into the wishes of the general population on adding Sunday sales.

In Mount Washington, one councilman has a website who placed the question of Sunday sales up for public debate.

Sunday liquor sales is not allowed in any portion of Bullitt County with the exception of the Heritage Hill Golf Course off Cedar Grove Road and the Paroquet Springs Conference Centre, which has a tourism exception.