State: Midland spent more than $5 million on alcohol in March

MIDLAND, Tx. (KOSA) -- Bartenders in Midland County served more than $5 million worth of beer, wine and liquor in March, according to the Texas Comptroller’s Office.

Gross mixed beverage receipts from March 1, 2019, through March 31, 2019, totaled $6,152,460 in Midland County, according to the office. Bars, restaurants and venues sold $5,711,807 worth of alcohol in March.

Christina Rogers has served customers at Triple Threat Sports Bar in Midland for three years. Rogers said the more than $5 million spent on alcohol is impressive, but not surprising.

“I think that those are amazing numbers. I think that with the growth of Midland and Odessa, I think that these local bars and restaurants especially the mom and pop ones are seeing a lot of the benefits from the fruits of those labors,” she said.

According to the Texas Comptroller’s Office, the bar submitted more than $98,000 in gross alcohol sales to the office in March 2019.

Making and serving drinks at the small business doesn’t just impact the bottom line. The numbers mix into the lives of Rogers and other service industry employees.

“I have been able to support my household. The money that we’re making is definitely making it easier to put back savings, and I’ve got investments. And that’s something that’s important for the future that even as a server you can retire,” she said.

However, other community members worry that the millions spent on alcohol that’s sold at more than 80 restaurants, bars and venues in Midland can impact other numbers- like drunk driving accidents.

“It worries us immensely. Every shopping center that has a restaurant, you can just drive down the street, and you can see that they serve alcohol. We’re not prohibitionist; we know people are going to drink. We just don’t want them in the car after they’ve done it,” Stop DWI, Inc. Court Monitor Phyllis Peek said.

Midland County Judge Terry Johnson said the numbers highlight the impact the oil boom is having on the community.

“From sales tax to these alcohol consumption numbers, everything we’re doing is at a pace we haven’t seen. We’ve had our boom, our busts, but this is something we’re learning how to deal with. And we will deal with it. This is a very spectacular time in Midland’s history,” Judge Johnson said.