County Leaders Talk About Alcohol Sales

If you've lived in Angelina County long enough, you know there's always been talk of making it a wet county. Many don't want easier access to alcohol here, but others are ready for the change.

Angelina County resident Ardis Culpepper said, "We spend just as much money going across the river to liquor stores. If it was wet, we wouldn't have to worry about it."

Some concerned residents say if Angelina County goes wet, crime will go up and so will the number of teens who drink.

Joe Montelongo, assistant manager of Pete's Liquor, said, "When I was growing up, we used to get people to buy it for us. It'd be easier for them to get, I'm pretty sure, being not that far away."

The county has a long way to go before there's a change in the liquor law. Someone has to file an application to start a petition, which has to spell out exactly what their goal is.

Tax Assessor-Collector Bill Shanklin said, "That petition has to have 35% of the registered voters in Angelina County - or the jurisdiction in which they are trying to get liquor laws passed - which can be countywide, citywide, or within a Justice of the Peace precinct."

Angelina County's last liquor vote was back in 1981. A precinct in Zavalla filed the request to make alcohol available in that area. Many voters were in favor of beer and wine sales, but wanted hard liquor kept out.

Angelina County is one of several dry areas in East Texas debating the sale of alcohol. Latexo is having a special election September 10th on the same issue.