Brought to you by WBIW News and Network Indiana
Last updated on Friday, May 11, 2012
(UNDATED) - Indiana will soon become the last state in the nation to ban carry-out liquor sales on Sundays.
On May 1, Connecticut legislators passed a bill proposed by Gov. Dan Malloy that will allow retailers to sell alcohol every day of the week, making Connecticut the 49th state to allow Sunday sales.
In Indiana, bills proposing to change the law have been seen in at least the last two legislative sessions, but none have successfully become law.
Matt Colglazier, director of media and promotions for Big Red Liquors, said changing the current law could put small, independently owned liquor stores out of business.
"If the law were to pass, it would hurt those locally owned businesses because they would have to stay open another day," Colglazier said.
Colglazier said locally owned liquor stores would not be able to compete with bigger grocery or convenience retailers that are already open Sundays and wouldn't have to take on as many extra costs for staffing.
"It's a little old-fashioned to say it this way, but to have a day of rest for our employees and to create a more responsible consumption environment, it's not an overwhelming reason for us, but it works for us and we don't want to change that," Colglazier said.
Grant Monahan, president of the Indiana Retail Council, which represents drug, grocery and convenience stores, said changing the law would be profitable for the businesses he represents.
"They want the opportunity to serve their customers and grow their businesses," Monahan said. "Retailers can't afford to take a day off and miss an opportunity to increase their sales."
He said for businesses and their customers, it's simply a matter of
"That's what our customers want," Monahan said. "They want convenience when they shop. They want one-stop shopping."
Rep. Peggy Welch, D-Bloomington, said there are pros and cons on both sides, but she will wait to hear from the general public before she votes on the issue.
"I would want to hear from the general public how they feel, not just people who have a vested interest in it," she said. "It's always good to review current laws to make sure that it is reflective of what society respects and wants."
She also said she wants to see how alcohol law changes have affected alcohol consumption in other states.
"Selling alcohol on the seventh day of the week doesn't increase alcohol consumption," Monahan said. "Just because you're purchasing it that day doesn't mean you're going to drink it all that day. It has everything to do with customer convenience."
Monahan insists the debate is an "intra-industry" fight, and other excuses are a red herring. He said the Indiana Retail Council will be back with more legislation proposals in the next session.
But Colglazier said legislation change would be bad for Big Red Liquors and other in-state retailers.
"It's a fairly complicated issue," Colglazier said. "The lobbies for the stores that would like to see Sunday sales are mostly out-of-state companies."
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