INDIANAPOLIS – The push for Sunday alcohol sales is gaining momentum during the 2013 legislative session, but it still faces stiff opposition.
Indiana remains the last state in the nation banning alcohols sales on Sundays—a rule that traces its roots back to the Prohibition Era. Two bills introduced during the current session would change the law that restricts Sunday sales to restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries.
Lawmakers point to the possibility for increased sales and more tax revenue for the state.
Many grocery stores and chains support lifting the ban. After all, Sunday is the second-largest shopping day of the week and allowing liquor sales would provide a boost to those retailers.
Most liquor stores, on the other hand, don’t support the change. They’d have to pay to staff their stores on Sunday—something they don’t currently have to do. Liquor stores are afraid the extra day would essentially spread out six days in sales over seven days—while they face stiffer competition from grocery stores who can also sell alcohol on Sundays.
Liquor store owners also contend that their staffs are trained and licensed to keep minors from getting access to alcohol.
Lawmakers have shown signs of loosening such restrictions. In 2010, they approved a bill allowing microbreweries to sell carryout beer on Sundays.