City Alderman Wants to End Booze Sales at Gas Stations
That was Homer Simpson's fantasy of an alcohol-fueled car, and according to 24th Ward Alderman Scott Ogilvie, the city's current laws allowing liquor sales at gas stations is providing a similar temptation.
"Right now, you can walk into a gas station, you can buy prepackaged Jell-O shots. You can buy airplane bottles," he says. "These are things that are clearly intended for consumption right there or in the car."
Gas station liquor sales became legal in 2010 in a law change Ogilvie characterizes as quiet and not necessarily because anyone was pushing for it. The number of licenses obtained since then seems to support that theory -- only 14 gas stations have what's known as a "full package" liquor license.
Ogilvie introduced a bill that limits beverages sold at the local BP to 5 percent alcohol-by-volume -- so basically only beer. The measure won't take away full package licenses from anyone, but no new ones will be issued. The bill passed through the Public Safety Committee with overwhelming support on Tuesday and will be up for a vote in a couple of weeks.
While Ogilvie says there aren't many gas stations who hold the license, he argues now is the best time to implement the law.
"It's kind of one of those things, if your competitor gets it, you have to try to get it, whether you want to or not," he says. "We're trying to prevent the race where everyone goes out and tries to get these."