Too many drunks in public; Wapato turns to LCB for help

WAPATO, Wash. -- KIMA first told you about the special meeting held by Wapato and the Liquor Control Board last year.

Wapato bar and business owners were asked to stop selling high-alcohol content drinks to-go, primarily 40 ounce beers, which are a big problem in Wapato. They're cheap and easy to toss.

Monica Magrijao and her brother run a Wapato food store. Since the meeting, they've stopped selling high-alcohol 40's, like Hurricanes, because of the problems the drinks create.

"Stealing the beers and we used to be calling the police every time they did," Monica said. "We stopped all those beers."

While they stopped selling Hurricanes-- they still sell 40's with less alcohol. Many business owners say they simply can't afford to stop selling them entirely.

Now, the city is reaching out to the Liquor Control Board for help. LCB officials tell me if a city can identify a specific alcoholic drink that's creating a problem, it can be deemed an Alcohol Impact Area.

The LCB would step in and ask business owners to voluntarily stop selling the beverages. If that doesn't work, the city can appeal to the state to permanently ban the alcohol.

Something Monica says could help finally solve the big problem that's plagued the small city.

"We didn't have a problem selling the other kind of a beer so I don't think we'd have a problem stop selling that one," Monica said.

LCB officials say Wapato is not alone. There are many cities across the state that has alcohol-impact areas.