Given that the Lone Star State is so big, Gun Barrel City, Texas, is not very close to Bryan or College Station. But the debate that is occurring there is worth watching because a similar disagreement might embroil our area.

People in Gun Barrel City are hotly debating the issue of whether to allow restaurants to serve alcohol between midnight and 2 a.m. Currently, last call is at midnight, but a movement is afoot to extend that until 2 a.m. and the city cannot seem to make up its mind as to whether to allow that.

Opponents say there is no reason to be out drinking that late and that allowing alcohol to be served past midnight only creates more DUI arrests and contributes to the "moral decline" of the region.

But those who would like to extend drinking hours say it would help businesses reap more profits and that it is not proper to raise a religious and moral obligation in what should be a secular debate. They also question why a city that is supposedly so buttoned-up about drinking has so many bars, liquor stores and even a drive-through liquor option.

The issue has been very hotly contested in Gun Barrel City. It has put the mayor's likelihood of re-election in jeopardy and has pitted friends, coworkers and neighbors against each other.

What do you think? Do you think allowing people to drink late at night means there will be more DUIs and that public safety is at risk, or do you think it's really not that big of a deal and that people are making a lot of noise over nothing?

Source: The New York Times, "In Small Texas Town, A Fight Over Late Drinks" Manny Fernandez, Nov. 23, 2011