Voters will decide on liquor sales - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Voters will decide on liquor sales

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August 9, 2004

Tifton- Voters in Tifton and Tift County will decide a controversial liquor referendum.

Monday night, voters packed the meeting room as city and county commissioners agreed to put the liquor by the drink proposal on the November ballot.

But Harrell Willis's brother was killed by a drunk driver and he says allowing liquor sales is too dangerous.

"His body went through the windshield," Willis said. "His back was broke completely backwards, over 500 feet of skid marks. The guy that killed him by drunk driver crash had five DUI's."

Others say liquor sales will help bring in more business.

"There's nothing constant in the world today except change," said county commissioner Harriette Rowe. "Everything's changing, technology, everything's changing. If you don't change, you'll get left behind."

Outside the meeting, church members prayed for the leaders to vote against liquor sales. They say alcohol harms too many families.

"We believe that no amount of revenue that comes in from it, is nothing compared to the loss of lives and break up of families and divorce rate across our nation," said Pastor Gerald Purvis of Liberty Baptist Church in Tifton.

Opponents of liquor sales say they'll organize a campaign to convince people to vote against liquor sales.

The two governing bodies also passed smoking ordinances Monday night that ban smoking in public places.

posted at 9:50 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com