All liquor restrictions were lifted in Norman Wells Wednesday, putting an end to nearly four decades of rationing alcohol sales.

The community narrowly voted to lift the regulations in a plebiscite last December.

mi-norman-wells-liquor

Before Feb. 1, a person could buy only one case of beer and two bottles of wine or a 40 ounce bottle of liquor and one case of beer per day from the liquor store in Norman Wells. (CBC)

Before Feb. 1, a person could buy only one case of beer and two bottles of wine or a 40 ounce bottle of liquor and one case of beer per day from the liquor store in the community.

Resident Sarah Colbeck says planning her next party should be a bit easier now that liquor rationing has been lifted.

"From a personal standpoint I think it's a good thing," she said. "I'd have to go to the liquor store every day for a week leading up to the party."

But Ethel Blondin-Andrew, chair of the Sahtu Secretariat, says substance abuse and bootlegging will increase in other Sahtu communities if the ration system isn't brought back.

"Overturn it. Hold a new plebiscite and allow the communities to vote as well," she said. "We are not trying to trample on anyone's rights but what is the greatest impact? Being inconvenienced because you can't hold a wine party is not a good principle to die on."

Jim Tobac says he worked hard to become and stay sober and so have many others in Fort Good Hope.

"It just puts problems on the police," he said. "The bootlegging is going to get out of control. People are going to go back downhill. We have no help for our social problems."

The mayor of Norman Wells says the town plans to keep an eye on liquor sales and liquor violations.