The staff editorial is the majority opinion of The Murray State News Editorial Board
Murray is just like any other college town: full of wild youth who spend the weekends loading up on Natty Light or emptying the taps at Mr. J’s Bar and Grill.
Except on Sundays, that is – any other day of the week is all right for buying a bottle of wine, but Sunday? Forget about it. Even if you’re a law-abiding, 21+ adult who drinks responsibly and doesn’t rage at bars or house parties, you’re out of luck on the Sabbath day.
You’re not out of luck for long, though. Things are changing in this small college town, and we’re getting scandalously progressive.
The city of Murray approved the sale of alcohol on Sundays, and a wave of fraternal cheers could be heard echoing through the Quad as alumni practiced their delivery of the line, “Back in my day, you had to wait until Monday to get a drink around here.”
In the last few years, Murray has seen quite a bit of change in terms of alcohol restrictions. It was only in 2012 that the city went ‘wet,’ and in 2013, the council voted to allow bars to stay open until 1:30 a.m. instead of midnight. Not to mention, our neighbor Marshall County just recently approved alcohol sales.
Murray’s plunge into wet territory has proven a good move on several levels. In the dry days, students would have to drive to Paducah, Kentucky or Paris, Tennessee to purchase alcohol – it doesn’t take a genius to realize that forcing 18-22 year olds known for irresponsible drinking habits to drive before and after attaining alcohol is a terrible idea.
Allowing students to purchase alcohol in restaurants and liquor stores close to home makes for a much safer environment and less chances of DUIs.
In addition, the change has spurred a noticeable increase in businesses. Liquor stores and new restaurants have popped up all over town, meaning more employment opportunities and more revenue for the city. Unfortunately, Murray State is still a dry campus, and administration hasn’t bought into the payday that would be selling beer at sporting events. That could be a potential next step, but for now, being able to purchase alcohol while grocery shopping on the last day of the weekend is probably the best holiday present a Murray State student could ask for.
Selling alcohol on Sundays might not have a significant effect on bars – hopefully our students aren’t pounding shots as a nightcap before their 8 a.m. classes – but it will most likely help liquor stores increase sales and employment.
On top of improving local business operations, the new approval will likely encourage new developments in Murray. Students have been itching to find out if rumors about a future Buffalo Wild Wings are true, and while we don’t have that answer yet, we bet less alcohol restrictions will help that buffalo find its place and settle in.
Elders of Murray might disapprove of the new legislation, but ultimately, it doesn’t affect the drinking habits of Murray State students. If students planned to drink on Sundays, they would time their purchase to ensure that plan goes through. Not being allowed to pay for their drinks on Sunday is only an annoyance for someone who can just as easily make a purchase on Saturday night.
Essentially, this development is an economic one – it will make the city of Murray richer and make students poorer for one more day of the week. Isn’t that the greatest holiday present any city administration could ask for?