The City of Barling in Sebastian County plans to create a public drinking district, according to KSFM-TV news.
Act 812 of 2019 lets cities create “entertainment districts” where alcohol can be carried and consumed publicly on streets and sidewalks. These districts can be permanent or temporary under Act 812.
Act 874 of 2021 by Rep. Lee Johnson (R – Greenwood) and Sen. Breanne Davis (R – Russellville) expanded the law to let cities in dry counties approve public drinking as well if the city contains a private club that serves alcohol.
According to the Department of Finance and Administration’s website, Sebastian County is a dry county, with the exception of Fort Smith. Barling — which is part of the Fort Smith metro area — contains private clubs that are authorized to sell alcohol, and the public drinking district apparently will be located adjacent to them.
As we have said time and time again, public drinking is a scourge on the community.
It doesn’t attract new businesses or bolster the economy.
Public drinking raises serious concerns about drunk driving and public safety.
It hurts neighborhoods and families.
Arkansans ought to stay away from any proposal that would legalize public drinking in their communities.