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A Victory Against Alcohol-related Crime

By Matt Singleton

An interesting occurrence happened earlier this year.  The Family Dollar stores in the west end of Louisville were contemplating obtaining a liquor license, but they were publicly rejected, after 13 attempts, by a large portion of the community, to the point where they withdrew from the option.

To an outsider, this appears to be rather odd. That section of Louisville is over 90% Democrat and is typically represented by a socially liberal philosophy. Yet there is a reality that doesn’t fade away. The abuse of alcohol is damaging to the individual and to society. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about ancient Rome or last week: alcohol is an intoxicating substance that can encourage drunkenness and crime in the short run and cancer and liver disease in the long run.

In 2023, there were an estimated 3,600 criminal incidents reports filed near the Family Dollar stores in Jefferson County. This implies that the added presence of alcohol distribution has “profited off of peoples pain,” as council woman Donna Purvis has said.[1]

National statistics are not very promising either.

Nearly 10,000 people are killed annually on U.S. roadways due to alcohol-related accidents. Thousands more suffer from injuries due to intoxicated drivers.

Close to 70% of alcohol-related violent acts occur in the home. Roughly 20% of these incidents involve the use of a weapon other than hands, fists or feet. An estimated 1.4 million incidents of alcohol-related violence are committed against strangers each year.[2]

Alcohol-related crimes include robbery, sexual assault, aggravated assault, intimate partner violence, child abuse, and homicide.

It doesn’t matter if we are talking about 2023 or 2000 B.C. The abuse of alcohol is a plague that has to be fought in every generation. Listen to Solomon’s wisdom:

29 Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes?

30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.

34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.

35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

– Proverbs 23:29 

In Biblical times, the wine used was less potent than it is today. (We use a distillation process which increases the proof.) It took about 16 glasses back then to get someone fully drunk.

However, Alcohol Beverage Control Chief R.T. Watkins explained that it doesn’t matter how high that the alcoholic content is as much as the amount of consumption.

This is an ongoing issue. Nevertheless, Chief Watkins is confident that recent efforts over the years (especially in the west end of Louisville) have reduced the rate of alcohol-related crime.

[1] Burke, Marresa. “Louisville Alcohol Beverage Control Denies Family Dollar 13 Liquor License Requests.” WAVE 3 News. 14 Feb. 2024. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024. Web.

[2] Hampton, David, ed. “Alcohol-Related Crimes.” Alcohol Rehab Guide. 14 Nov. 2023. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024. Web.

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