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Our View— ‘Brunch bill’ won’t make waves

Any discussion of expanding alcohol sales is sure to stir up plenty of controversy.

It’s no surprise then that the Lincolnton City Council’s vote on Thursday to allow alcohol sales beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays, which was approved earlier this year by the state, was heralded as the single most important piece of legislation ever by proponents of the proposal, and as a sure-fire way to increase Sunday morning drunk driving by a factor of 500 by opponents.

In reality, the local ordinance isn’t going to change much of anything. Brunch, as a concept, is a much bigger deal in larger cities with lots of young people living in them. Certainly, a few Lincolnton restaurants may take advantage of the opportunity to make a few extra bucks in drinks on Sunday mornings, but most will likely maintain their normal hours.

That’s not to say, however, that the city council made the wrong decision in approving a local ordinance to allow alcohol sales on Sunday mornings. The city’s leaders have an obligation to help local merchants in any way that they can. If even one restaurant can become more prosperous thanks to this ordinance, it was the right thing to do.

An even more important vote is taking place today, when the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners takes up a similar ordinance. That ruling, of course, is more far-reaching than the one the city approved, and could have a positive impact on some of the restaurants on the county, particularly on the eastern end. The commissioners should approve their ordinance for the same reasons the council approved the city’s.

That’s not going to be looked upon kindly by the anti-alcohol crowd, but nothing short of a return to Prohibition will. If we can all remember that what responsible adults put into their bodies is that person’s business, and that person’s business alone, we’ll all be better for it.

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