Wapato Looks to Curb Alcohol Sales - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wapato Looks to Curb Alcohol Sales

WAPATO, Wash. - Erick Grunlose remembers what his life was like eight months ago. He was panhandling outside of convenience stores. He would scrape together whatever money he could and then buy a 24 oz. or 40 oz. container of alcohol. Erick said he would purchase his alcohol in the morning and then drink throughout the day in back alleys.

"I was panhandling, asking everyone - 'Sir do you have 50 cents?' but by the good grace of God I got cleaned up"

Clean for eight months, Erick supports Wapato's proposed initiative. It's a plan that would limit the sale of single serve alcoholic beverages (ex: 24 oz. or 40 oz. containers). Those beverages would be limited in sale before 10 AM and after 10 PM in an effort to aid the city's problem of vagrancy and public intoxication.

But Grunlose, who has admitted to drifting through the city while drunk, says the city needs to do more than just pass the initiative.

"That's a start... but they need to find some kind of shelter where the homeless people can go to congregate on awareness of alcohol."

Wapato doesn't have a homeless shelter, but the city is looking into build one.