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News & Press: Industry News

Package Liquor Stores support Sunday sales, won’t compromise on safety

Friday, October 6, 2017   (0 Comments)
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There has been a significant amount of bluster from members of the media and others in the past several months about our state’s alcohol laws.  Here is one point that virtually everyone has missed simply because they are too driven by their individual quest for clicks or money to do their homework: Indiana’s package liquor store industry supports Sunday sales of alcohol for carryout.  
 
Yes. Indiana’s package liquor stores have been supportive of Sunday sales for a few years since we endorsed a landmark piece of legislation in 2015 that would have permitted Sunday sales for carryout for the first time since prohibition.  This legislation unfortunately did not receive a final vote on the House floor.  
 
Indiana’s ban on the carryout sale of alcohol on Sundays is antiquated and impacts the small business package liquor stores by forcing them to close their doors one day per week. 
 
It’s time for all stakeholders to work together to deliver results for Hoosiers. The package liquor store industry is committed to working directly with legislators to successfully draft and pass meaningful and impactful public policy that will allow Hoosiers to purchase alcohol for carryout on Sundays for the first time since prohibition.  
 
That is why we support and are eager to work with our state’s leaders and the Alcohol Code Revision Commission which is holding meetings over the next two years to examine the state’s alcohol laws and where and how they can be reformed for the benefit and safety of Hoosiers. There is no question that changes are needed, but unlike what some in the media and others in the industry would have you believe, reform of our alcohol laws is not just about what day you can buy alcohol for carry-out or at what temperature.  
 
The fact is that alcohol a serious substance that can destroy lives, families and communities.  It should be strictly regulated in our state and no matter what reforms are debated we cannot and should not compromise on safety, especially to pad the bottom line of convenience store lobbyists and big oil CEOs.  
 
Alcohol regulations in our state are long-established and designed with safety in mind by taking positive steps to keep those substances that can be consumed immediately; like cold beer, out of the wrong hands, particularly those underage or unaware of the danger.  
 
Package liquor stores operate under strict state regulations that prevent underage or improper individuals from obtaining alcohol.  Individuals under the age of 21 are prohibited by law from ever entering package liquor stores and all package store employees must be licensed and 21 years of age or older. Package liquor stores are prohibited by law from being located near churches or schools.  
 
There is overwhelming evidence that these laws are working as intended.  In 2014 and 2015, Indiana ranked in the bottom three among the 50 states in alcohol-related fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and according to a separate 2014 Indiana University Study, underage drinking has been decreasing for 21 straight years.  
 
Drastically increasing the number of locations that can sell cold beer in Indiana to include virtually every big box store and gas station will reverse these trends and directly result in an increase in alcohol consumption and related harms, including crime and violence, according to multiple studies.  
 
The package liquor store industry is excited to open our doors to welcome customers for the first time on Sundays but we will not compromise on laws that help keep Hoosiers safe – especially the underaged and vulnerable.

Jon Sinder
Chairman, Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers

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