Group pushes for relaxing Sunday alcohol sales in Indiana
Indiana is one of the few states that prohibits alcohol sales on Sunday, but that could change in a few months. Movement in the legislature could lead to new liquor laws in the new year.
The Upland Brewing Company has been brewing Indiana ales, lagers and sours since 1998, and Danny Henrich has seen several Sunday alcohol sales proposals come and go.
A new effort announced at a press conference Wednesday would allow only Indiana brewed beer to be sold cold. Henrich is sold on that.
"We support this. This is good for Indiana business. This is good for local business. The people that have sold our beer, they are our partners and if this helps them in long run its good for all of us," said Henrich.
The president of the Alliance of Responsible Alcohol Retailers says it's time to get rid of Indiana's outdated alcohol law and serve Hoosiers convenience.
"It makes no sense for a Hoosier to not be able to buy a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer while they're doing their weekly shopping," said Grant Monahan, ARAR.
Indiana is one of only 13 states that prohibits the carry-out sale of alcohol on Sundays - the second busiest shopping day of the week.
"We lose nearly $9 million in tax revenue in Indiana but we have retailer who lose approximately 129 million dollars annually," said Rep. Cindy Noe (R-Indianapolis).
The pro-Sunday sales lawmakers were met with opposition from advocates helping to educate against drugs.
"We oppose this because it makes alcohol more widely available than water. It'll be on every street corner. It'll be available 24 hours a day," said Tom Bristol, AHEAD.
Bristol says Sunday alcohol sales will lead to a big loss for public health, safety and finances.
Not all liquor stores are supportive either. They're not staffed on Sundays and they'll lose their competitive advantage of being the only retailers allowed to sell cold beer.
Henrich gets there are two sides, but hopes his side might finally pass because more sales means "more jobs in Bloomington, more jobs in Indianapolis, more jobs in Indiana."
The bill will be proposed early next year.
53,000 Hoosiers have signed a petition in support of this.