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State Representative Julie Mayberry's lawsuit against the ABC isn't set to be heard until December 17th in Benton, but she has already caused the ABC to acknowledge that a permit to sell alcoholic beverages cannot be issued to an applicant if their establishment is within 1000 feet of a daycare. 

The discovery of this fact may undo the ABC in the lawsuit as their attorney, Mary Robin Casteel, argues that the ABC does not consider a daycare to be a school.


Current Arkansas law (A.C.A. § 3-4-206)  states in part that "No new permit to engage in the retail liquor business in this state may be issued by the Director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division for the location of any business situated within one thousand feet (1,000') of any church or schoolhouse property line." 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has issued an opinion that daycare's are indeed schools.

The ABC previously had not considered daycare centers to be "schools" and disagreed with AG Rutledge, so it was surprising that ABC Administration Director Bud Roberts sent an email out to ABC employees that indicated an abrupt change in policy to apparently bring the ABC in compliance with the law.

Pay particular attention to the date of the email... it's August 27, 2015 a little less than a  month prior to the filing of Rep. Mayberry's lawsuit and about a week after she appeared before the ABC Board to object to a permit being issued that was within 900 feet of a daycare center in East End.

In the hearing before the ABC Board, Rep. Mayberry used A.G. Rutledge's opinion to back up her assertion that a daycare center is in fact a type of school.

Funny how the ABC can waste taxpayer funds on defending a lawsuit that seeks to enforce the laws of the state of Arkansas and the regulations that the ABC itself espouses. And if Rep. Mayberry wins the suit, her attorney will collect fees and costs from the state.


Note to Bud - There are things called family daycare homes that may or may not require a license from DHS.  Like daycare centers, these family daycare homes can receive state funds for meals, etc. 

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