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Warm beer and Sundays

By Jeff Terrill

Fort Wayne Reader


Most Hoosiers know that you canít buy booze on Sunday. There are hundreds of Indiana laws governing the sale, purchase, possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages. Some of our stateís alcohol laws make sense. Some do not.

A person aged 21 or older can buy beer, wine and distilled spirits everyday of the week except Sunday. Cold beer for carryout can only be sold at liquor stores. Grocery stores are not authorized to sell cold beer any day of the week. Bars, microbreweries and restaurants are, however, permitted to sell cold (and warm) beer ó even on Sundays. Microbreweries, wineries and distilleries can sell their own brands of beers, wines or liquors for carryout on Sundays provided that they are made at those facilities.

Indiana lawmakers are considering allowing all carryout alcohol retailers to sell on Sundays. Indiana is the only state that has such a ban. Grocery stores, pharmacies and convenient stores are strongly in favor of lifting the ban. Understandably, they want to be able to sell their products every day of the week.

Liquor stores, on the other hand, donít want the ban lifted. Many people shop for groceries on Sundays. If stores that sell groceries are allowed to sell beer, wine and liquor on Sundays, fewer people will buy those beverages at liquor stores. The stateís liquor industry contends that many liquor stores will be unable to compete with the big box stores and other alcohol retailers if Sunday sales are permitted. Similarly, the liquor industry believes that allowing convenient stores and other retailers to sell cold beer will substantially drive down their profits and market share.

The Indianapolis Star shared the results of a recent Ball State study that found 58% of Indiana residents support the sale of carryout alcohol on Sundays. I suspect the majority of Hoosiers also favor the sale of cold beer at big box and convenient stores and pharmacies.

Some people suggest that the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays fosters underage drinking and alcohol abuse. Proponents believe legalizing Sunday alcohol sales could generate millions of additional tax dollars and stimulate the stateís economy.

Iím not sure buying cold beer at a gas station on a Sunday should be described as progress. But, maybe it is.


Jeff Terrill is a partner/shareholder with the law firm of Arnold Terrill Anzini, P.C. Mr. Terrill represents clients accused of crimes throughout northeast Indiana. You can contact Mr. Terrill with any questions or comments at his office at 260.420.7777 or via email at jterrill@fortwaynedefense.com. Learn more about his firm at www.fortwaynedefense.com. This article expressed opinions and observations of the author, is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader. Please consult a qualified attorney with any legal questions or issues you might have. Thank you.

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