By Lauren Estes
The Cullman Times
As the Fourth of July approaches, many residents will likely celebrate the holiday with fireworks and perhaps a cold one, or two.
However, authorities said areas that prohibit the consumption of alcohol will be strictly enforced during this weekend’s festivities.
The City of Cullman allows alcohol sales, but Cullman County does not. Sheriff Mike Rainey said deputies will be mandating spots heavily utilized for Independence Day observance events, including Smith Lake Park.
“Just because the City of Cullman is wet does not mean people can have alcoholic beverages in the Smith Lake Park area,” Rainey said. “That park is an alcohol- and drug-free environment and the sheriff’s office takes it very seriously. We hope that anyone who drinks, drinks responsibly. If you drink, don’t drink and drive, have a designated driver.”
The city of Hanceville is wet, as well as the City of Good Hope. Good Hope Mayor Corey Harbison said this will be the city’s first wet Fourth of July.
“It is here, and the people did vote it in,” Haribson said. “I just hope people are responsible in the things they choose to do while they are drinking, if they decide to drink.”
Good Hope’s recently added beverage store, Cabin Fever, will be open on the Fourth of July. Owner Kolby Lawrence said they will be encouraging the safety of all those who purchase from them.
“We try and preach safety, we have signs to let people know that we are going to ID (check identifications) you; we’re not going to sell you if you look intoxicated. We do check for that heavily,” Lawrence said.
The City of Hanceville also has legal alcohol sales. Mayor Kenneth Nail and Police Chief Bob Long both stressed the importance of personal responsibility and safety over the weekend.
“Even though Hanceville is wet, the county is still dry,” Long said. “If someone is transporting alcohol, they need to do that in the trunk of the vehicle or as far away from the driver as possible. It needs to be unopened as it is purchased, otherwise, it will still be in violation of the law. Every year there are accidents because people are senseless and choose to drink and drive or drink out on a boat. Be responsible. If you are going to drink, do it in moderation and don’t drink and drive. If you get caught driving under the influence, you will go to jail.”
Lauren Estes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-734-2131, ext. 137.