GALLUP — An organization that runs dozens of comfort shops and gasoline stations in New Mexico is suing the state over new liquor legal guidelines that took impact final week.
Western Refining Retail claims a brand new provision that singles out McKinley County is unconstitutional as a result of it prohibits gasoline stations from promoting liquor based mostly on inhabitants.
The brand new rule states any dispenser or retailer licensee who sells gasoline in a county with a inhabitants between 56,000 and 57,000 folks can not promote alcohol apart from beer. McKinley is the one New Mexico county that falls below that inhabitants threshold, and the change doesn’t have an effect on different companies like grocery shops, bundle liquor shops, eating places and bars.
Democratic Sen. George Muñoz informed Albuquerque tv station KRQE that he sought the language focusing on retailers hooked up to gasoline stations to deal with an issue in his western New Mexico district.
“Folks die in McKinley County due to alcoholism,” he mentioned.
He added: “Simply because it’s authorized, doesn’t imply it needs to be available and handy in each single location.”
Western Refining’s lawsuit seeks to cease enforcement of the brand new regulation, noting that 14 companies within the county are affected.
The corporate runs 10 of these companies. The state’s Regulation and Licensing Division exhibits the corporate has dispenser licenses at Speedway, Big and Conoco gasoline stations in Gallup.
Officers with the state licensing division mentioned they won’t touch upon the lawsuit till they’ve an opportunity to evaluation the criticism.
In response to an annual report on substance use published by the New Mexico Health Department, McKinley and Rio Arriba counties had extraordinarily excessive alcohol-related dying charges.
Total, the report famous that New Mexico has extraordinarily excessive dying charges resulting from each alcohol-related persistent illnesses and alcohol-related accidents. The state’s fee of alcohol-related harm dying was about 1.5 instances the nationwide fee.
Well being officers mentioned that whereas New Mexico’s fee for alcohol-related motorized vehicle visitors crashes has decreased considerably over the previous 30 years, disparities stay.
The state on the finish of June rolled out its newest anti-drunken driving marketing campaign, which incorporates tv, radio, billboard and social media promotions. Regulation enforcement businesses even have began their summer season DWI checkpoints and patrols.