Editorial: Oklahoma in the ‘Booze Belt?’

In 2018, more alcohol will be on sale in Oklahoma, more alcohol will be consumed and more problems will result.

There is nothing wrong with an occasional drink but the issue will be how many drinks how often and what happens when so many Oklahomans drink so much more.

In 2016, state voters approved the sales of refrigerated hard beer and wine at convenience stores, groceries, drug stores and other retailers. The new liberalized laws also encourage the expansion of wineries and breweries and the next step is hard liquor sales on Sundays.

Never wanting to lose a potential revenue stream, the Oklahoma State/A&M Board of Regents has approved the sale of alcohol at Cowboy sporting events.

Rich donors in private skyboxes already can booze it up during games and it is no secret that clever fans have found ways to sneak in liquor for decades. (Some fans even show up with “three sheets in the wind.”)

Beginning with baseball games this spring, OSU will sell alcohol at games to make more money and to draw in spectators who can’t make it through a game without getting at least a little drunk. The current policy is no alcohol sales at the football stadium and it is prohibited to take it in.

OSU regents argue that other schools sell booze and so should Oklahoma State. And Texas, who started selling alcohol at sporting events in 2015, made more than $3 million in 2016 from the sales of beer, wine and liquor.

Tulsa University started selling beer at event in 2016 and this season added wine as an option for fans who really need a drink during games.

Again, alcohol in moderation is not the problem. It’s the proliferation of booze. Oklahoma is changing from being in the Bible Belt to the Booze Belt.