Package stores — and at least one lawmaker — railed against Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s plan to allow gas stations to sell alcohol. They claim drunk driving would rise if this was allowed.
Malloy says the argument is being raised as a way defeat the "pro-consumer aspects" of his proposal.
In February, Malloy toured in Orange to . A television reporter asked Malloy specifically about the potential danger of having gas stations sell alcohol.
"Can we just stop for a second. How do you think most people get to a liquor store?" Malloy asked.
“Well I’m sure they drive there,” said the reporter.
Malloy replied, “So obviously if they’re driving already it really is much the same, but people are using an argument to try to defeat the modernization and the pro-consumer aspects of what we’re proposing.”
According to the Hartford Courant, Sen. Edith Prague, a Democrat, is in strong opposition to allowing gas stations to sell beer.
"I think that is outrageous, especially if they sell gas,'' Prague told the newspaper. "This bill, for me, is a total outrage — after all these years of us trying to curb drunk driving. … It concerns me that people driving in to get gas can run in and get a six-pack. The bill is a disaster.''
Malloy plan includes a variety of sweeping changes, such as allowing Sunday sales, removing price controls, capping the number of wine and liquor stores with a medallion system and permitting those stores to sell food. The governor said he hopes to make Connecticut more competitive with neighboring states.
Some package store owners in Madison say they have no problem with the proposed changes, others say they agree with critics that the legislation will drive many small, locally owned package stores out of business.