Indiana liquor stores hopeful for repeal of Sunday alcohol sales ban

Indiana liquor stores hopeful for repeal of Sunday alcohol sales ban
Liquor stores in Indiana are open six days a wekk, but not on Sundays. (Photo source: Rachael Krause, WAVE 3 News)
Liquor stores in Indiana are open six days a wekk, but not on Sundays. (Photo source: Rachael Krause, WAVE 3 News)
The ban on Sunday liquor sales has been in effect since Prohibition. (Photo source: Rachael Krause, WAVE 3 News)
The ban on Sunday liquor sales has been in effect since Prohibition. (Photo source: Rachael Krause, WAVE 3 News)

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - Indiana businesses are losing out. That's what some people are saying about the current ban on Sunday alcohol sales.

Lawmakers are moving forward with plans to overturn the ban during the spring legislative session. But the push to end the ban is a plan many say they've heard before without result.

Some liquor store owners are split on the change. One store owner says they're not for it because being open an extra day likely wouldn't boost their sales. But many others say they want to see this changed so they don't lose business to shops that can sell on the other side of the river.

This time of the year, Liquor Cabinet in New Albany stays busy with customers. They're open six days a week. Not Sundays, though manager says the customers here would like them to be.

"I've actually heard a lot of my customers, most of my usual customers say they want the Sunday sales because some of them work on Sundays and they'd like to have something to drink," said Ryan O'Keefe, manager at Liquor Cabinet in New Albany.

One of the busiest days for alcohol sales this year falls on a Sunday. O'Keefe said he hopes people hoping to pick up that Champagne remember to do it early. Each year, O'Keefe said most people leave it until the day of which would mean they could lose out.

"I think this year is going to be the tough year, I think. With it being New Year's Eve, it's going to cut so much out of Indiana," O'Keefe said.

It's one of their busiest days for sales and if customers can't buy from them, O'Keefe said they'll find a shop open across state lines.

"I know that they will go to Louisville, I know that for a fact," O'Keefe said.

Lawmakers are putting forward plans to legalize Sunday sales in the state during the spring legislative session. O'Keefe said he's heard this before. If public opinion doesn't sway lawmakers, O'Keefe said maybe the economics of it will.

"If they take a big look and realize how much sales went to Kentucky on New Year's Eve, then they might take that into effect on having Sunday alcohol sales," O'Keefe said. "Laws need to be changed. I mean, certain laws need to be changed."

The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers says they're hopeful that when lawmakers take up the Sunday sales legislation it will end the Prohibition-era ban.

"We know that many time-honored holiday traditions; from eggnog at a family Christmas Party to a champagne toast on New Year's Eve, involve the responsible use of alcohol," said Jon Sinder, Chairman of the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers. "We remind all Hoosiers to plan ahead and make sure to visit their neighborhood package liquor store to purchase any of their Christmas or New Year's Eve needs on Monday through Saturday."

Sinder went on to say, "This hopefully will be the last time Hoosiers will be inconvenienced by Indiana's outdated alcohol laws."

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