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Sunday alcohol sales could be on the horizon

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- A major deal has been struck which could open the door to Sunday alcohol sales in Indiana. After arguing for decades, the Indiana Retail Council (IRC) and the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers (IABR) have agreed they’re both in favor of Sunday alcohol sales, but expanded cold beer sales won’t be in the works.

“It’s a historic compromise,” said Grant Monahan, President of the IRC regarding Friday’s join statement with the IABR, which represents Indiana liquor stores.

“It has become clear to us…that by working together we can both improve Indiana's health and public safety while giving consumers the convenience they deserve," said Jon Sinder of the IABR.

Under the agreement, both sides say they’re in favor of Sunday alcohol sales along with opposing further restrictions on how alcohol has to be displayed in stores. But the agreement also says the two trade associations oppose the expansion of cold beer sales.

Right now, only liquor stores can sell cold beer, and that’s something the liquor stores weren’t about to budge on saying it’s the best way to keep cold beer out of the hands of minors.

“We will not compromise on safety, and this includes the expansion of the availability of alcohol for immediate consumption like cold beer for gas stations and convenience stores,” said Sinder.

But our partners at the Indianapolis Star investigated and found data showing that liquor stores sell to minors just as often if not more.

Caught in the middle, are the gas stations and convenience stores, who say they’re getting a raw deal. In a statement Friday afternoon, the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association said, in part “We call on lawmakers and Hoosiers to see this agreement as nothing more than liquor stores and big box stores protecting their turf. Instead, we would ask lawmakers to support the common sense reform of moving beer from store floors to coolers.”

It’s ultimately up to the state’s General Assembly to make the final call on what will and won’t be available for sale on Sundays. It’s an issue that’s expected to be brought up when the state legislature convenes in January.