Saline Circuit Judge Grisham Phillips has dismissed a lawsuit aimed at blocking a liquor store permit in on Arch Street Pike in the Saline County community of East End.
Former state Rep. Andy Mayberry and his wife Rep. Julie Mayberry, who live in East End; the Dillon Family Daycare, and Rita Dillon had sued to overturn an ABC permit issued to Dr. Harry Bryant. They argued that a daycare met the definition of a “schoolhouse” under Arkansas law and the proposed store was too close to two daycares to allow the permit.
The suit argued that the law refers to such words as students and schools when speaking in other contexts about daycare facilities. But the judge said that neither the legislature nor the state intended for that definition to apply in the context of the statute over liquor store locations.
Phillips said that if the legislature had intended to prevent liquor stores within 1,000 feet of a daycare center, it could have “easily specified so in the same way that it so specified” in the statute creating “certified drug-free zones.” But he said the legislature “appears at this time to regard day care centers and schools as two separate and distinct entities.”
He said in a writte opinion filed Dec. 31 that the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board had not acted arbitrarily nor had it abused its discretion.