Hard decision: should liquor be sold at gas stations? - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hard decision: should liquor be sold at gas stations?

DUBUQUE (KWWL) - A controversial proposal speeding through the statehouse would allow Iowa gas stations to sell hard liquor in their main aisles near their other goods. Some stations already sell liquor, but it is sold in separate rooms.

Opponents say the idea could result in more teenage drinking and encourage drunk driving. But supporters say the change will make liquor more available to rural residents, whose nearest grocery is a convenience store.

Just a few miles outside Dubuque, along Highway 20, it's not hard to miss this 24 hour gas station; where customers stop daily.

Assistant manager, Sharon Burds says with many rural communities close by, people use this stop as a grocery store.

They sell just about everything from, donuts, chips, chocolate, energy drinks, lotto tickets and beer.

"Right now we just sell beer and wine coolers and things where the alcohol contents lower," said Burds.

Along with most in the State of Iowa, they can't sell hard liquor, or anything above a certain alcohol content.

"So you have to send them down there you have to send them away to somebody else's business," said Burds.

Burds says the proposed law could take some getting used to but she says it could bring more business.

"A lot of people might come in and say "oh I've got a party." I don't wanna drive all the way into town.  I can get it right here.  It's fast and convenient," said Burds.

That could give new meaning to a "convenient" store. Many rural residents are in support of the change. But the gas station managers say they are mixed on the issue. While the change could bring more business, it also brings more responsibility.

According to lobbyists there are more than 30 gas stations with separate rooms and registers for hard liquor.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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