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Michigan agency drops half-mile rule between alcohol sellers

Liquor on shelves photo
Wikimedia Commons

State regulators have dropped a 1979 rule that generally required a half-mile distance between liquor retailers.

The Detroit News says the change by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission occurred Thursday.

A trade association that represents stores has filed a lawsuit, saying the commission was required to hold a public hearing.

Auday Arabo, president of the Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers, compared the commission's actions to that of a dictator.

Supporters of the half-mile restriction say it protects communities and gives retailers some room against potential competitors.

But the commission says the half-mile rule discriminates against qualified applicants.

The commission must respond to the lawsuit within seven days.