Pastor has reasons for voting against Sunday alcohol sales

A local pastor believes Sunday alcohol sales will increase Albany's crime rate / File

As many people know, the sale of alcohol on Sunday is an ongoing issue in Albany.

Restaurants are able to sell alcohol by the glass, but stores are not allowed to sell liquor by the bottle.

Pastor Henry M. Brown is very straight-forward in his reason for voting against Sunday alcohol sales.

"We believe an increase in the sale of alcohol will be an increase in crime," says Pastor Brown.

He says alcohol and drugs often go to the criminal's heads.

"It alters the mind. And with the mind being altered, people believe a lie rather than the truth."

He says our police are overworked because of all the crime. And maybe he's got a point. According to a 2010 study by the U.S. Department of Justice, alcohol was a factor in 40% of violent crimes. Three million violent crimes are reported each year where the offender was drinking at the time of the offense. But on the flip side, DUI arrest rates have gone down in every age group. Still, Brown believes a "no" vote would solve most of Albany's crime issues.

Not only is he encouraging voters to vote no on the Sunday alcohol sales, he's taking it a step farther, saying city commissioners should have never let this issue leave the table. Meaning, he thinks city commissioners should have made this decision for the voters.

"Because we elected them to what? To be our voice! And most people are not educated enough to perhaps vote in the right direction," says Brown.

City Commissioner Jon Howard has a history of voting against any alcohol license that comes to the city. However, he believes it was the right decision to let the people vote.

"I think that as elected officials that when things of that magnitude come before elected officials, the democratic way is to let the voters make the decision and that is due process. That's how American government works," says Howard.

Cast your vote on election day Tuesday, November 8.