This week, five Kentucky cities voted to allow or expand alcohol sales. Elizabethtown, Radcliff, Vine Grove, Junction City and Guthrie are among more than 120 Kentucky cities to do so since 1998.

Proponents generally cite improved economic development as a reason to reduce limitations on alcohol sales. Opponents cite moral, religious or safety concerns.

But the wets have been winning. Since 1998, just over 60 local governments rejected expanded sales. Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control general counsel Stephen Humphress says wet votes are the trend, but no elections are foregone conclusions.

“There was a local option election in July 26 in Owen County and they voted to remain dry. There was also an election in Liberty last year, and they voted to remain dry,” he says.

Danville went wet in 2009 and city officials say they’ve seen three restaurants, one entertainment venue and five package liquor stores open since then.

In addition to taxes on sales and property, wet cities can further profit from alcohol sales. Humphress says many cities pass statutes to regulate alcohol on the local level.

“You have the ability to collect licensing fees to collect revenue for the community and also the ability to regulate them. If an individual is required to have a local license to sell alcoholic beverages, you have the authority to require them comply to the alcoholic beverage statues locally,” he says.

The most recent wet-dry votes take effect in 60 days.

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Expanded Alcohol Sales Pass in Hardin County Cities

by Gabe Bullard October 4, 2011

Ballot measures to legalize or expand alcohol sales in Elizabethtown, Radcliff and Vine Grove have passed. In three separate votes, residents of the Hardin County cities approved the changes by a roughly 3-2 margin. Vine Grove and Elizabethtown are fourth-class cities and will not be able to establish bars. Radcliff is a second-class city and […]

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Wet-Dry Vote for Hardin County Cities Is Tuesday

by admin October 3, 2011

by Lisa Autry, Kentucky Public Radio Voters in Hardin County’s three largest cities go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to expand alcohol sales. Wet-dry votes are being held in Elizabethtown, Radcliff and Vine Grove. Hardin County Clerk Kenny Tabb says in the past, similar votes have drawn about 50 percent turnout, but these […]

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Hardin County Officials Say Alcohol Sales Will Spur Economic Development

by Gabe Bullard August 8, 2011

Hardin County officials say expanded alcohol sales will help the area capitalize on future developments further north. On October 4th, voters in Elizabethtown, Radcliff and Vine Grove will vote on whether to allow alcohol sales at package liquor stores and in restaurants. “We become a more attractive location, I think, for some younger professionals and […]

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House Passes Ignition Lock Bill

by Tony McVeigh February 8, 2011

Legislation requiring ignition interlock devices on the vehicles of convicted drunk drivers has won the unanimous support of the Kentucky House. Vehicles equipped with the devices won’t crank for drivers with illegally high blood-alcohol levels.

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Grocers, Liquor Retailers At Odds Over State Law Change For Fourth Year

by Gabe Bullard February 7, 2011

After three years of unsuccessfully lobbying the General Assembly to allow wine and spirits to be sold in grocery stores, the coalition instead sought to have the restriction blocking the sales declared unconstitutional.

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Ignition Lock Bill Sees Action In Frankfort

by Tony McVeigh February 2, 2011

In 2009, 203 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in Kentucky. Nearly eight thousand Kentuckians have three or more DUI convictions.

Representative Dennis Keene believes the state needs to do more to get drunken drivers off the highways.

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New Effort For Sunday Alcohol Sales To Be Launched In Indiana

by Gabe Bullard December 27, 2010

The Indiana General Assembly will convene next month, and among the first bills introduced will be a measure to lift restrictions on alcohol sales. Some lawmakers and retailers are making yet another attempt at easing regulations.

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Wet-Dry Vote To Be Held Tuesday

by Gabe Bullard April 5, 2010

by Gabe Bullard Residents of a precinct in the Parkland neighborhood of west Louisville will cast ballots in a wet-dry vote Tuesday. About a fourth of the 19-block precinct is dry. But in the rest of the precinct, liquor sales are allowed, and among the five establishments selling alcohol is a Kroger, which has a […]

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Shepherdsville Council Passes Sunday Sales Measure

by Gabe Bullard January 12, 2010

Sunday alcohol sales could be legal soon in Shepherdsville.

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