Bladenboro residents debate legalizing alcohol as election day approaches

Bladenboro beer and wine referendum

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Bladenboro citizens may soon be able to buy an alcoholic beverage within city lines.

In next Tuesday’s municipal election, citizens will have the chance to vote on a referendum that will decide whether to allow the sale of malt beverages and unfortified wine in their town. The referendum was originally voted down by the Town Council of Bladenboro, but after a petition with over 400 signatures was submitted, the issue was put on the ballot.

The citizens that plan to vote in favor of the referendum believe that the action will present new opportunities for job growth and income for bars and grocery stores that stock alcoholic beverages.

Others that are in favor believe that it could reduce the amount of drunk drivers traveling to and from another county to purchase alcohol.

According to Bladenboro resident Amber Bills, those who are against the referendum believe that the presence of alcohol will encourage unhealthy behaviors and taint the small-town image of Bladenboro.

“They don’t want to go down main street where you see all the historical stuff and have a brand new bar here and people getting drunk, they just don’t want it to disrupt what it looks like," Bills said.

Another Bladenboro resident, Chris Eason feels strongly that alcohol should be sold,

“If they don’t want it, they shouldn’t be around it, I mean if you don’t drink, that’s you, you don’t have to be around it, but there’s a lot of people in this county that does drink,” said Eason.

This isn’t the first time that Bladenboro voters will be given the chance to decide whether alcohol can be sold or not, the issue has been on the ballot twice in the past 25 years and was voted down both times.

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