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Oxford attorney pushes for cold beer in city

Reported by: Tyler Hill
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Updated: 7/18/2013 11:19 pm
OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) - It's an ordinance that many residents in the City of Oxford have opposed for years. Under current law, cold beer sales aren't allowed in the city, but a local attorney and business is trying to change that.

Oxford attorney Milton "Dee" Hobbs will address Oxford's Board of Aldermen to request the removal of its prohibition of cold beer.

"You can already buy beer period," Hobbs explained. "We seem a little backwards, in my opinion and many citizens opinions."

Under current ordinance, the city can sell hot beer, but it outlaws cold beer, except in restaurants and bars.

Hobbs is on behalf of Craddock Oil Company, headquartered in McComb with several convenience stores in the state, and he said he hopes the board will pass the request.

"Once that's deleted, that subsection won't be a part of the ordinance, and refrigerated beer and light wine can be sold in gas stations and convenience stores," Hobbs said.

He said repealing the ordinance will also bring more revenue to the city, especially during the Ole Miss Football season.

"We think Oxford is probably missing out," he said. "Some of the Oxford businesses are probably missing out on some of the revenue."

Before the aldermen vote, however, it takes three board meetings to change a city ordinance: one to receive the petition, a second meeting to receive public comment, followed by a vote by the board.

"They'll hear from their constituents and hopefully vote accordingly," Hobbs said.

For the people who live in Oxford, the only way to get a cold pack of beer is to throw it in the refrigerator for a few hours, let it chill on ice or drive to the next county line.

WTVA's Tyler Hill spoke to nearly 60 people who live in Oxford for their take on the situation, and every person responded with the same opinion.

"I think it's something that will be good," Oxford resident Austin Coomer said. "I think it's one of those things that you could have the cold beer but still not sell it on Sundays, and I think you could still bring sales here [Oxford] and not out of the county."

"People are gonna drink them hot or cold, whether they drink in the car or not," Oxford resident Lauren Fassero said. "People are just gonna drive to the county line and buy them cold, which they do all the time."

"It has its ins and outs in terms of drinking and driving," Oxford resident Warren Welch said. "As far as that's concerned, I think people are gonna drink and drive whether the beer is hot or cold."

WTVA also asked viewers on Facebook what they thought about the possible change.

Elizabeth Stamper wrote, "All of it needs to be outlawed and no longer available."

Matthew Copp said, "As an Oxford resident, I am neutral about this. However, I hope this passes so that our elected officials can focus on more important issues facing Oxford."

Attorney Hobbs will bring the issue before the board July 23rd, leaving the vote at the end of August.

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