LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Most Lubbock residents - at least those who imbibe - drive along a short road to buy their alcohol.
But soon the drive to beer, wine and liquor could be a lot shorter than the quarter-mile Short Road to fewer than eight stores that have sold alcohol to Lubbock residents for decades.
On May 9, voters will cast ballots to decide whether beer and wine will be available for sale in grocery and convenience stores within the borders of the conservative South Plains city of about 207,000 residents.
Lubbock is the largest dry city in the state, and perhaps the largest in the United States. It voted to allow liquor by the drink in the early 1970s.
In 2006, city officials voted to annex The Strip, as the row of beer, wine and liquor stores along the Short Road is known. The move to increase sales tax revenue allowed for alcohol sales in the city, but it didn't allow them throughout the rest of Lubbock.
Those who favor alcohol sales in the city say it's time the city show some progressiveness. But opponents say quality of life will suffer in neighborhoods near package stores, underage drinking will increase and the city over time will become seedy.