Countdown to beer law changes in Oklahoma - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Countdown to beer law changes in Oklahoma

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Retailers can sell "high-point" beer in Oklahoma starting October 1, 2018. (KTEN) Retailers can sell "high-point" beer in Oklahoma starting October 1, 2018. (KTEN)

DURANT, Okla. -- Less than two months from now, Oklahomans will be seeing some big changes to the state's liquor laws.

Currently, grocery stores and convenience stores can only sell beer up to 3.2 percent alcohol content. So for years, Oklahoma residents have been crossing the Red River to get a stronger drink.

"I drive all the way from Oklahoma to Texas just to get 6-point beer," said Karen Wingate.

But changes were set in motion after voters approved a repeal of those restrictions in 2016.

"It's almost like Oklahoma's modernizing itself," said Durant Community Development Director Matt Nahrstedt. "Effective October 1, we will be able to buy full strength beer and wine in retail locations -- whether it's grocery stores or convenience stores."

Durant and other cities are advising retail shops to apply for the licenses required by the city and the state to sell more potent beer as soon as possible.

"We want businesses to be prepared, and we are here to help them," Nahrstedt said.

The first step is for the business to request a compliance letter from the city; that letter then goes to the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission for a review.

David Manners, who manages the Greenspray grocery store in Durant, is interested in selling stronger beer and wine.

"I think it will be nice to be able to sell wine as well," he said. "More people will come by here, especially on Sundays when liquor stores are closed."

But if businesses like Greenspray don't secure the necessary permits before October 1, they could lose their ability to sell any alcoholic products.

Changes to Oklahoma's alcoholic beverage regulations

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