Federal judge dismisses lawsuit challenging overhaul of Oklahoma liquor laws

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A federal judge has upheld a voter-approved overhaul of Oklahoma’s liquor laws that will expand wine and strong beer sales to grocery and convenience stores.

State law currently allows wine and strong beer to be sold only at licensed package liquor stores. But the law approved in November would allow grocery and convenience stores to also sell wine and beer beginning Oct. 1, 2018.

Opponents of State Question 792 filed a lawsuit in December, claiming the measure was written unfairly.

“I’m sure we’ll feel it. There’s no question about it. It’s also obvious people want that. But, once again, we’re not trying to impede what consumers want, but we want and we deserve to get a fair shake out of the deal as well,” Vance Gregory, the owner of the Edmond Wine Shop, told KFOR in November.

The lawsuit alleged that the new liquor guidelines violated the constitution’s equal protection clause and tried to block them.

U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron on Thursday dismissed the lawsuit filed by the Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma.

Among other things, Cauthron ruled that the state can legally regulate liquor differently than wine and beer.

Association officials have not said if they will appeal.