Blue Laws and Sunday Alcohol Sales Updated

posted at 11:45 am on February 16, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

In the state of Georgia, the next chapter is playing out in a divisive story which has been going on in many states since the end of prohibition. Lawmakers are looking to roll back some of the blue laws which have remained on the books for generations, specifically the restrictions on selling alcoholic beverages on Sundays. The efforts, however, are facing stiff resistance from some Christian conservatives.

The latest attempt at Sunday alcohol sales legislation in the state Senate appears to be in trouble.

Opposition, especially from Christian conservatives, could prevent a Senate vote this year on a bill that would give Georgia communities a vote whether to allow Sunday beer, wine and liquor sales at stores.

Only a few weeks after giving it a strong chance of passing, Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers said Monday that he’s not sure it will reach the Senate floor this session.

At Outside the Beltway, Doug Mataconis finds the idea not only “silly” but contrary to libertarian, small government principles.

Here’s an idea. If you don’t like the idea of buying beer, wine, or liquor on Sundays, then don’t buy beer, wine, or alcohol on Sundays. There is no rational basis for religious conservatives to force their own ideas of how Sunday’s should be spent on the rest of society.

This is one reason why focusing solely on national politics when it comes to issues about how closely allied libertarians/fiscal conservatives should be with social conservatives is a mistake. The power of social conservatives to implement their agenda at the national level is actually pretty limited…

At the state and local level, though, the ability of social conservatives to use the force of the state to enforce their vision of the “moral” society is far more prevalent.

I’m not sure that this is a situation where we need to pit social conservatives against fiscal conservatives, nor the religious right against secular activists. It’s really more a question of consistency.

Christian limits on Sunday activity aren’t quite as rigorous as, for example, some Jewish laws regarding work of any kind on the Sabbath. If you don’t want to return to prohibition and bar the sale of alcohol entirely, there doesn’t seem to be much of an argument in saying you only want it sold on six out of seven days. Further, it’s a rather pointless law to begin with, as most drinkers can and will simply buy a bit more on shopping day and make sure they’re stocked up for the football game on Sunday in advance.

Less clear is whether or not total sales would actually increase, spurring small business activity, with the lifting of such a ban. And that’s for precisely the same reason mentioned above: people simply stock up rather than running out to buy a small supply seven days per week.

Perhaps the bigger question for us to tackle is that of states which currently restrict all sales to state owned and operated stores. These are the ones which seem to impose the greatest inconvenience on shoppers. Further, such systems fly in the face of free market principles. Surely private business owners would find ways to deliver the products more cheaply and create more jobs than the state government could ever manage.

UPDATE: From more readers in the comments than I could list here, another pressing question. From the perspective of the liquor store owners, is six days per week actually better for business, as it allows them to make the same sales in six days without incurring the overhead costs of running on Sundays? Is the government actually doing them a favor by not allowing others to cut into their sales by running on a day when they are closed? Not sure how that addresses the free market principle of the issue, but it’s a valid question.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Who should I see about the silliness of only being about to buy 4 packs of 9% abv beer?

myrenovations on February 16, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Since the Sabbath is really on Saturday, Blue Laws have been regulating booze sales on the wrong day anyway.
What?
*ducks*

annoyinglittletwerp on February 16, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Perhaps the bigger question for us to tackle is that of states which currently restrict all sales to state owned and operated stores.

Precisely.

Vashta.Nerada on February 16, 2011 at 11:53 AM

The same proposal has been made in Minnesota this year to allow liquor store sales on Sunday. Strangely, the greatest opponents are liquor store owners, who seem to think that only their costs will go up if allowed to be open on Sunday.

MTinMN on February 16, 2011 at 11:53 AM

The bill isn’t even about the sale of alcohol on Sunday specifically, but rather whether to allow local communities to vote on the matter. The Christian Coalition is so wrong on this and for the Georgia legislators to be going wobbly in the knees over this is pathetic. Recent polling consistently shows public approval at over 80% and yet the legislators let a dozen bible thumpers cow them into a corner. Yes I called them bible thumpers.

Let the people decide. If a city or county votes no then fine, but give them a chance to decide on their own. In other words treat them like adults and not kindergartners who need big nanny looking out for them.

As for the squeaky wheels at the Christian Coalition, the hooker from the bar called and she wants her cigarettes back.

Just A Grunt on February 16, 2011 at 11:54 AM

My personal belief is that anything that’s legal at any time should be legal all the time, but I’ve known a lot of liquor store owners that have told me opening 7 days a week just spreads their sales out over 7 rather than 6 days which makes it more expensive for them to do business.

RW_theoriginal on February 16, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Years ago, I lived in New Orleans. Loved the city, but the rules were kind of archaic. One Sunday, my toilet stopped up. I needed a plunger. I went to the store. Nope. Unless it’s striclty food, those items were strictly forbidden, by law, to be sold. How agonizing was it, to wait til Monday to get a plunger? I can’t even begin to tell ya. LOL

I’m not much of a drinker anymore. On occasion, I do like a glass of wine, or a mimosa…but overall, I rarely drink. However….I too find the laws a bit stringent.

Up until about 5 years ago, I lived in a dry county. You can now buy beer, and wine here, and I think even on Sundays. You just can’t buy the hard liquors, ie… rum, whiskey, etc..

I agree. If Republicans, even conservative Christians are about freedoms, and individual liberties, then they need to stand up for that, and stop their nonsense. This is their personal beliefs, and not everyone believes as they do. Honor your beliefs, and let others do the same, as they see fit. Otherwise, they may as well call themselves Democrats.

capejasmine on February 16, 2011 at 11:55 AM

We simply cannot allow Jeddite to purchase a shot of Captain Morgan on Sunday; he might be so inclined as to pour to the entire shot into a 2lt bottle of Coca-Cola, the lushie lush.

This is unacceptable in a civil, God-fearing society.

Jeddite on February 16, 2011 at 11:56 AM

No Sunday sale in Connecticut too. Except here the block to prevent change comes from the small liquor store owners (via their lobbying group) who don’t want to open on Sunday – they apparantly want a day off.

hotdax on February 16, 2011 at 11:57 AM

I live in Georgia and this whole thing doesn’t make sense. In most places, you can buy alcohol at restaurants and bars on Sunday, but not in stores. So, it’s okay to drink and drive, but not okay to drink at home? But the worst part is, the Christian Conservatives are trying to prevent the issue from being put on a ballot for the PEOPLE to vote on. If they think they are in the majority, let it be put up for vote.

mogilla on February 16, 2011 at 11:59 AM

I live in Georgia and am furious that the state senate is sitting on this bill in committee. What this bill does is give each county the opportunity to hold a referendum election on whether or not the people in each county want to be able to buy/sell alcoholic beverages on Sundays. So, even if a State Senator opposes Sunday sales, then they still have an opportunity to oppose it in their own county in an election. In other words, opposing Sunday sales and opposiion to this bill are not mutually exclusive.

Oh, and then there’s they hypocrisy that is the law that allows liquor-by-the-drink sales in restaurants on Sundays statewide. So, I can go to Applebees (or a Falcon’s football games or an Atlanta Braves game) after 12:30pm on any Sunday and drink to my hearts content and then drive home. But I cannot stop at the gas station or grocery store and buy a six pack and take it home with me to drink there.

jstjoan on February 16, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Why do we allow religious fanatics to impose their “values” on the rest of us (e.g. drinking on Sunday is ‘bad’ and therefore should be made illegal????)

I live in a state where you can’t buy booze (from a supermarket/liquor store) on Sunday, BUT you CAN sit in a restaurant and drink until you’re unconscious!! Makes sense, no?

And this is also the state which recently passed a law you don’t have to card anyone who ‘looks over 40′, but if you sell liquor to a minor who ‘looks over 50′ then no prosecution!

(I guess if you drink enough booze prior to 21 yrs of age, at SOME point it’ll make you look like you’re 50+. Happened to me!)

Q. With the country imploding around our ears (literally) why are these assholes so obsessed with drinking on Sundays???

alwyr on February 16, 2011 at 11:59 AM

In my youth in Virginia, we had Blue Laws, which not only restricted many purchases but kept retail stores closed on Sunday. It was put on the ballot one year, the people voted to keep the Blue Laws and then they were deemed unconstitutional. Virginia controls the sale of “hard” alcohol through their own stores.

Cindy Munford on February 16, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Why does the christian coalition dictate to any one about Sunday sales? is it a control issue? To me that what seems to be a reason for the blue law, and nothing else!
If they were serious They should BAN ALL SALES of alcohol though out the week! See then what will happen!

grapeknutz on February 16, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Who should I see about the silliness of only being about to buy 4 packs of 9% abv beer?

myrenovations on February 16, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Try buying ANY in a state like Iowa, which outlaws any beer over 3.2%. Or in Minnesota, in certain bars which don’t have special licenses allowing them to sell beer over 3.2%. Or…or…or…

Plenty of silliness to go around, with regards to alcohol laws. And gambling laws for that matter.

MNHawk on February 16, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Turn over the decision to the municipalities, if they aren’t already at that level, and let the city council vote on it or send it to a public referendum.

I’m in favor of decentralizing some of the controls over alcohol at the moment because the former head of Alcohol-Tobacco Control in my state. That guy was infamous for micro-management and use of gray areas within the law to harass local businesses and deny them due process when it came to things like liquor licenses.

teke184 on February 16, 2011 at 12:01 PM

In Texas it’s no alcohol sales before noon on Sunday at restaurants and bars unless food is served with the drinks, then it’s 11 a.m. (which means if you want to drink and watch the Sunday NFL pregame shows, you’ve also got to stuff some food in your mouth).

jon1979 on February 16, 2011 at 12:01 PM

edit button needed…

Iowa DOESN’T allow strong beer…

MNHawk on February 16, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Living in a truly democratic society means bowing to “silly” majority opinion sometimes. If the opinions have changed, well, then the law can change too.

RBMN on February 16, 2011 at 12:03 PM

I agree that the Blue Laws are silly. I grew up with them in Texas, and worked in a drug store where we had to enforce them.

However….the only answer to them is to put it to a vote. Locally or State-wide, according to the State constitution. People should be free to set up their own laws where they live, unless it is somehow contrary to a higher law. Blue Laws are not contrary to a higher law. If you don’t like them, vote against them, or vote with your feet. To me, it’s no different than gay marriage or state taxation – states and localities should be empowered to be different than each other.

connertown on February 16, 2011 at 12:03 PM

In Georgia and North Carolina it is really worse than the article says. Georgia and North Carolina have dry counties, which I find ridiculous. The Federal Government should stay out of it all together. Along with the imposing the 21 year-old drinking age and the .08 blood alcohol level for drunk driving.

SC.Charlie on February 16, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Perhaps the bigger question for us to tackle is that of states which currently restrict all sales to state owned and operated stores. These are the ones which seem to impose the greatest inconvenience on shoppers. Further, such systems fly in the face of free market principles.

Exactly. The relatively highly-paid unionized clerks in such locales as Sweden and all Canadian provinces other than Alberta would disagree with you though.

Drained Brain on February 16, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Quit yer complain’!

I’m in Utah.

;-)

Y-not on February 16, 2011 at 12:06 PM

In Texas, several large retailers in Houston started ignoring the blue laws and the legislature rolled over quickly. However, the car dealers didn’t want to be open both Saturday and Sunday so they lobbied the legislature into keeping the ban for car dealers. The liquor store owners are also for the ban because they don’t have to pay to keep the store open and people will still buy the same amount.

Kafir on February 16, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Less clear is whether or not total sales would actually increase, spurring small business activity, with the lifting of such a ban. And that’s for precisely the same reason mentioned above: people simply stock up rather than running out to buy a small supply seven days per week.

Ed – you are correct sir. Whilst living in Georgia – this was a hot button issue – and I happen to discuss it with my local package store. They are the ones opposing the Sunday law (OT from the intent of the religiuos issue here) because they claim a few things

a) people buy more on Sat for Sun, being Sun has never allowed booze sales, people are used to it. This actually helps increase sales, being people buy “more” than “less” when stocking up.
b) supermarkets are open 24/7 and are large corporations. They dont care if booze is sold or not, because their lights are on and staff is being paid anyway.
c) restaurants are helped – because if someone didnt buy enough booze during the week – they will go out to eat, drink, spend money, etc.

I just always thought the little guy was for Sunday sales until I spoke to my package guy – who was 75 and in the business “since he was 12″

He also said he would see his big weekly spenders at church each Sunday…

Odie1941 on February 16, 2011 at 12:09 PM

No Sunday sale in Connecticut too. Except here the block to prevent change comes from the small liquor store owners (via their lobbying group) who don’t want to open on Sunday – they apparantly want a day off.

hotdax on February 16, 2011 at 11:57 AM

I’m in Conn. too…luckily, on the NY border, where there’s beers if I need ‘em on Sunday. Thing is, if an owner doesn’t want to open on Sunday, they don’t have to. When they extended the sale hours from 8pm to 9pm, there were a bunch of liquor and package stores that just didn’t stay open that late.

But anyway, there is no reason for these stoopit Blue Laws like this. As said, if you don’t want booze on Sunday, don’t buy it. You can still go out to a bar here on Sundays and booze it up, why not be able to purchase some and bring it home to drink?

Speaking as a Catholic myself, these “Christian Right” Evangies need to watch themselves, not everyone else.

JetBoy on February 16, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Less clear is whether or not total sales would actually increase, spurring small business activity, with the lifting of such a ban. And that’s for precisely the same reason mentioned above: people simply stock up rather than running out to buy a small supply seven days per week.

Probably wouldn’t matter to stores so much, but it has to make a difference in the restaurant business. I lived in a county that was dry on Sunday and we would go out to watch football at a place that had the Sunday ticket. A bunch of guys drinking sweet tea with free refills brings in a lot less money then if they were drinking beer. Not even close.

sammypants on February 16, 2011 at 12:11 PM

I lived in TX, in a dry country where you couldn’t buy hard liquor at all and where you could not buy hard liquor on Sunday and only beer and wine after 12:00 noon. Now I live in NY where you can buy everything on Sunday.
My thoughts are, if you live in a state that you can’t buy on Sunday, THEN STOCK UP FROM MONDAY THRU SATURDAY! There, problem solved. :-)

sicoit on February 16, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Oh and, you’re welcome

sicoit on February 16, 2011 at 12:13 PM

As in other states, these regulations should be left up to the individual counties and communities involved. I would favor the repeal of stater blue laws but allow counties and incorporated areas to have their own rules. A community should be free to reflect their values in their local laws and the higher government should not force cultural values down the throats of local jurisdictions.

crosspatch on February 16, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Since the Sabbath is really on Saturday, Blue Laws have been regulating booze sales on the wrong day anyway.
What?
*ducks*

annoyinglittletwerp on February 16, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Heh…You poked a lot of hornet’s nests with a stick as a kid, huh?

JetBoy on February 16, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Here we go again!

Even in deep-blue Connecticut, whose two Senators and five Reps are all Democrats, grocery stores and package stores are not allowed to open on Sunday, or sell liquor after 9 PM on other days. (Grocery stores are only allowed to sell beer, but not wine or hard liquor).

Since Connecticut is a small state, and over half its area is within 20 miles of a neighboring state, package stores near the borders keep complaining that they’re losing late-night and Sunday business to stores in neighboring states without such laws. If a Nutmegger drives over the border on Sunday to buy liquor, and drives back while drunk, isn’t that more dangerous to sober motorists than if the person drove a much shorter distance to a package store in Connecticut?

Nobody disputes that alcohol ABUSE can lead to dangerous behavior, but truly religious people realize this and limit their own consumption. Besides, the Gospel says that Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding, and the Catholic Church serves small amounts of wine at Mass on Sundays, including to children as young as 8 years old. Alcoholic beverages are legal, and have been consumed by devout Jews and Christians for centuries. Let’s stop kidding ourselves, and let people buy alcoholic beverages when they can drink them.

Steve Z on February 16, 2011 at 12:16 PM

For the life of me, I cannot understand why social conservtives decry left-wing nanny-statism on one hand, and then use the government to impose right-wing nanny-statism on the other. Quit your social engineering and let people live their lives as they see fit. Or is it that the rubes can’t be trusted?

JSGreg3 on February 16, 2011 at 12:17 PM

As a Georgian, I hope they drop this law. It will bring in more revenue, and we definately can use it right now. 11:30 Sat nite is not any different from 11:30 Sun morning. You can drink in private clubs, and there’s always little hole in the wall places that fudge the day they sell.

di butler on February 16, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Heh…You poked a lot of hornet’s nests with a stick as a kid, huh?

JetBoy on February 16, 2011 at 12:15 PM

I grew-up Jewish and conservative in a black neighborhood-so…yeah.
LoL

annoyinglittletwerp on February 16, 2011 at 12:17 PM

My personal belief is that anything that’s legal at any time should be legal all the time, but I’ve known a lot of liquor store owners that have told me opening 7 days a week just spreads their sales out over 7 rather than 6 days which makes it more expensive for them to do business.

RW_theoriginal on February 16, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Allowing alcohol sales on Sunday does not compel liquor store owners to be open 7 days. If they want to close on Sundays, they can. Let the market determine things, not the Christians. Oh, and I’m a Christian, but don’t feel the need to compel my beliefs on others.

mogilla on February 16, 2011 at 12:18 PM

I’m not sure that this is a situation where we need to pit social conservatives against fiscal conservatives, nor the religious right against secular activists.

I disagree. This is a great example of meddlesome, statist theocrats wanting to control others in an arbitrary, irrational way. Religious conservatives should win converts (if they can) to their repressive moral views via persuasion, not coercion.

IU_Conservative on February 16, 2011 at 12:19 PM

When is the “Live Free or Die” state of New Hampshire going to get rid of their state run liquor stores?

RadClown on February 16, 2011 at 12:20 PM

I’ve got no problems with the fact that municipalities or states can make such stupid laws. One can always choose to live some place else and leave the superstitious trogs to get drunk on their own anachronistic piety.

MJBrutus on February 16, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Dump the blue laws, if a store or restaurant doesn’t want to be open, they can close. Chic-fil-a has no problem, they make plenty of money, they are probably one of the best run companies in America, and they close on Sunday.
The most foolish are the “can’t buy before noon”, as if something special happens at noon…it does, the ministers have stopped preaching and they can have a cold one…
What’s that old joke: If you want to meet your pastor, go to the next county’s liquor store.

right2bright on February 16, 2011 at 12:21 PM

The same people in government who cry in anguish over the influence of Christianity in the public square also tell us we have nothing to fear from an extremist radical Islamic state wanting to unify the Middle East under sharia law.

quiz1 on February 16, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Gee, I live in Massachusetts, home of the blue laws, and I can buy all seven days of the week – go figure. But we cannot buy beer, wine or hard liquor in grocery stores – have to go to either a convenience store or a “packie”.

The packie owners complained at the time the blue laws were done away with that their costs would increase while revenues would remain flat. I can see their point, but I also notice that none of them have gone out of business.

Further, the Commonwealth saw fit to impose a sales tax on alcohol above and beyond their excise tax. That didn’t go over that well with the populace. It was repealed by public initiative – and this time they actually bowed to the will of the people.

Guess they figure that a citizenry that is blotto is far less likely to re-volt.

Cheers!

turfmann on February 16, 2011 at 12:22 PM

State regulation of what can and can’t be sold, and when, is foolish. I remember when I moved to Australia in ’87, the laws were so convoluted that you could buy all the liquor you wanted on Sunday, but try getting a toothbrush or a loaf of bread…

Government needs to get out of the way. If I object to buying liquor on Sunday, I am completely free to not buy liquor on Sunday. You don’t see AA members campaigning for 7-day closure of liquor stores — the responsible ones just don’t buy liquor.

Imagining that laws will induce self-restraint in people is naive. Another example: can any non-user of marijuana honestly say that the only reason they are such is because it is illegal? Those who do use marijuana are obviously not restrained by the law. So what good is the law serving?

mr.blacksheep on February 16, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Steve Z on February 16, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Take away beer, you destroy the Lutherans…

right2bright on February 16, 2011 at 12:23 PM

So, no federalists at HA. Just a bunch of libertine libertarians.

boko fittleworth on February 16, 2011 at 12:24 PM

disagree. This is a great example of meddlesome, statist theocrats wanting to control others in an arbitrary, irrational way. Religious conservatives should win converts (if they can) to their repressive moral views via persuasion, not coercion.

IU_Conservative on February 16, 2011 at 12:19 PM

I agree with you, UI. Anyone who wants to use the force of the government to coerce certain behavior from me needs to be rebuffed publicly just as much as left-leaning statists.

JSGreg3 on February 16, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Gee, I live in Massachusetts, home of the blue laws Sam Adams (brewer, patriot) and I can buy all seven days of the week – go figure.

turfmann on February 16, 2011 at 12:22 PM

FIFY

MJBrutus on February 16, 2011 at 12:25 PM

boko fittleworth on February 16, 2011 at 12:24 PM

MJBrutus on February 16, 2011 at 12:21 PM

There’s a least one here, anyway :-)

MJBrutus on February 16, 2011 at 12:27 PM

“Oh No. I can’t get my alcohol of choice. How will I survive the next 24 hours?”

portlandon on February 16, 2011 at 12:27 PM

I’ve got no problems with the fact that municipalities or states can make such stupid laws. One can always choose to live some place else and leave the superstitious trogs to get drunk on their own anachronistic piety.

MJBrutus on February 16, 2011 at 12:21 PM

I agree. I also have no problem with the fact that they *can* make these laws. I have a prblem with the fact that they DO

JSGreg3 on February 16, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Blue laws on Sunday sales of alchohol in CT still exist, but from the looks of the pro-abortion, pro-Obama vote, you can be sure that it’s not based on Christian principles, where the Sunday streets are frightenly void of churchgoers.

Don L on February 16, 2011 at 12:28 PM

we have nothing to fear from an extremist radical Islamic state wanting to unify the Middle East under sharia law.

quiz1 on February 16, 2011 at 12:21 PM

I was waiting for the stupid “relevancy” post, and you won (not that you are stupid).
Yeah, Christians saying don’t drink on Sunday is just like Sharia law…
You are of course correct, the liberals have no problem with stoning a women to death in public…but by gum don’t tell us not to buy liquor until noon…

right2bright on February 16, 2011 at 12:28 PM

My personal belief is that anything that’s legal at any time should be legal all the time, but I’ve known a lot of liquor store owners that have told me opening 7 days a week just spreads their sales out over 7 rather than 6 days which makes it more expensive for them to do business.

RW_theoriginal on February 16, 2011 at 11:55 AM

I certainly understand that, however, since I now live in GA, there are times when I forget to restock or simply run out on Saturday and can’t get anything on Sunday. I’d be happy if grocery stores and Target could at least sell beer/wine on Sundays. Their operating costs won’t be affected as they are open on Sunday anyway. I’m more angry that the state won’t let VOTERS decide…ridiculous.

atlgal on February 16, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Don L on February 16, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Another good point, abortion okay, beer no…

right2bright on February 16, 2011 at 12:29 PM

So, no federalists at HA. Just a bunch of libertine libertarians.

boko fittleworth on February 16, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Is being a Federalist and Libertarian somehow mutually exclusive?

JSGreg3 on February 16, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Further, the Commonwealth saw fit to impose a sales tax on alcohol above and beyond their excise tax. That didn’t go over that well with the populace. It was repealed by public initiative – and this time they actually bowed to the will of the people.

The Commonwealth is run by a bunch of idiots who do stuff like raising sales taxes on alcohol and then complain about New Hampshire stores who don’t collect and remit Massachusetts taxes when people cross the border to go shopping.

teke184 on February 16, 2011 at 12:30 PM

where the Sunday streets are frightenly void of churchgoers.

Don L on February 16, 2011 at 12:28 PM

That frightens you? How sad.

MJBrutus on February 16, 2011 at 12:30 PM

True story here. For many years alcoholic beverages were not sold in Spotsylvania county Virginia on Sundays. Sometime in the 80s a group of people got together and lobbied for that law to be repealed. I’m pretty sure the lawmakers even voted on it and voted for repeal. However when they actually checked the books there was no actual law forbidding the sale of liquor on Sundays. Everybody including police, judges, politicians and most residents of the county just thought there was.

Oldnuke on February 16, 2011 at 12:30 PM

NH is an odd state. Only the state may sell alcohol in their infamous packies, but the costs remain low. Not sure why, but there is a well worn path from Mass to NH liqor stores.

Very ‘Live Free Or Die’ in many respects, but sticklers about alcohol.

swamp_yankee on February 16, 2011 at 12:30 PM

I agree with you, UI. Anyone who wants to use the force of the government to coerce certain behavior from me needs to be rebuffed publicly just as much as left-leaning statists.

JSGreg3 on February 16, 2011 at 12:25 PM

While Starbucks is normally my drink of choice-if I want to go to the local Jewel(a Chicago-area grocery chain) after Mass and pick up a 4 pack of Bailey’s Mini’s…that should be my right.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 16, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Christian blue laws == sharia light.

This fact can not be denied.

esnap on February 16, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Is the government actually doing them a favor by not allowing others to cut into their sales by running on a day when they are closed?

Chik-Fil-A is closed on Sundays. If a business wants to be closed one day a week (or two) that’s their decision. If someone else wants to be open all the time, that’s their decision.

rbj on February 16, 2011 at 12:32 PM

While Starbucks is normally my drink of choice-if I want to go to the local Jewel(a Chicago-area grocery chain) after Mass and pick up a 4 pack of Bailey’s Mini’s…that should be my right.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 16, 2011 at 12:30 PM

I wouldn’t stop you; in fact, if I’m in Chicago, I’d probably like to join you :)

JSGreg3 on February 16, 2011 at 12:32 PM

From the perspective of the liquor store owners, is six days per week actually better for business, as it allows them to make the same sales in six days without incurring the overhead costs of running on Sundays? Is the government actually doing them a favor by not allowing others to cut into their sales by running on a day when they are closed?

In Indiana, the liquor store owners lobby against repealing the ban on Sunday alcohol sales, while the grocery stores (who are open anyway) favor repeal. Doesn’t matter though. The larger point is that these are archaic laws that have have become outdated and silly as our society has matured. I don’t question the authority of states to regulate alcohol sales, but it is past time to do away with these laws. Religious conservatives shouldn’t be allowed to use government to make others conform to their beliefs.

IU_Conservative on February 16, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Christian blue laws == sharia light.

This fact can not be denied.

esnap on February 16, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Yeah, stoning adulterers and homosexuals is a “light” equivalent to blue laws. Where do I register my denial?

JSGreg3 on February 16, 2011 at 12:35 PM

I wouldn’t stop you; in fact, if I’m in Chicago, I’d probably like to join you :)

JSGreg3 on February 16, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Living in Crook-I’m mean Cook-County would be enough to make Carry Nation turn to drink.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 16, 2011 at 12:38 PM

mogilla on February 16, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Of course nothing compels them to open, but the liquor business relies on regular customers and if your competitor down the street opens on Sunday you better too or customers are likely to take their Monday through Saturday business down the street too. I saw this first hand in western Massachusetts a few years back when they had some oddball laws that prohibited Sunday package sales unless you were in a county that bordered New York or New Hampshire.

atlgal on February 16, 2011 at 12:29 PM

I live in Georgia now too and don’t disagree with you at all.

RW_theoriginal on February 16, 2011 at 12:40 PM

However when they actually checked the books there was no actual law forbidding the sale of liquor on Sundays. Everybody including police, judges, politicians and most residents of the county just thought there was.

Oldnuke on February 16, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Dude.

myrenovations on February 16, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Years ago, I lived in New Orleans. Loved the city, but the rules were kind of archaic. One Sunday, my toilet stopped up. I needed a plunger. I went to the store. Nope. Unless it’s striclty food, those items were strictly forbidden, by law, to be sold. How agonizing was it, to wait til Monday to get a plunger? I can’t even begin to tell ya. LOL

capejasmine on February 16, 2011 at 11:55 AM

How long ago was this? I never had a problem buying anything when I lived there.

Lay-Z on February 16, 2011 at 12:45 PM

I can understand a small business owner wanting a day off, but it should be up to each individual to decide which day.

Many restaurants are closed on Monday. Fewer people tend to eat out on Monday, so the owners feel from a business perspective that is the best day to be closed. Similarly the owner of a liquor store should be able to judge his flow of business and decide for himself. No government interference necessary.

Meredith on February 16, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Yeah, stoning adulterers and homosexuals is a “light” equivalent to blue laws. Where do I register my denial?

JSGreg3 on February 16, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Please tell me you’re only pretending to be that dense.

Dark-Star on February 16, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Big Government “conservative” strike again….

Anyone that supports the government intervention here has no right to complain about government intervention in Healthcare, Energy, or any other industry.

As to the “will it help or hurt small package store” It is not the place of government to regulate something in order to help some business over other business.

No one will force these business to be open on sunday, they can still freely choose to stay closed.

the_ancient on February 16, 2011 at 12:46 PM

From more readers in the comments than I could list here, another pressing question. From the perspective of the liquor store owners, is six days per week actually better for business, as it allows them to make the same sales in six days without incurring the overhead costs of running on Sundays? Is the government actually doing them a favor by not allowing others to cut into their sales by running on a day when they are closed? Not sure how that addresses the free market principle of the issue, but it’s a valid question.

Limits competition, particularly for those single-proprietor shops that don’t have extra staff.

Count to 10 on February 16, 2011 at 12:51 PM

n Indiana, the liquor store owners lobby against repealing the ban on Sunday alcohol sales, while the grocery stores (who are open anyway) favor repeal. Doesn’t matter though. The larger point is that these are archaic laws that have have become outdated and silly as our society has matured. I don’t question the authority of states to regulate alcohol sales, but it is past time to do away with these laws. Religious conservatives shouldn’t be allowed to use government to make others conform to their beliefs.

IU_Conservative on February 16, 2011 at 12:33 PM

In Maryland, the grocery stores aren’t allowed to sell alcohol in the first place, and in one of the counties, all the alcohol has to be bought from a county owned distribution center.

Count to 10 on February 16, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Liquor stores can choose to close on Sundays.
Like the bars do here in ND.
Very few are open, but some are.
Let businesses choose.
But of course this IS a state issue.
If voters want ti, well then it happens, as long as it doesn’t violate the Const or State Const.
And no none ofthis crap does.
If cities want to ban T&A bars, that’s their perogative.
I think it’s a very good point about no economic changes here.
People want booze, they’ll buy ti ahead of time.
One day without won’t kill anyone.
But these laws do not prevent drinking, either.
Pretty much nothing but a case of the busy bodies otu there in the Bible belt.
And I lived in Smith co TX, so I know about blue laws.
Alcohol was still easy to get.

Badger40 on February 16, 2011 at 12:55 PM

hmmm

Alaska has not state run stores. You can not sell beer in say a grocery store like other states. All alcoholic beverages are sold under one permit.

We also do not have days they can not run the store. that is per the owner of the permit.

upinak on February 16, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Alcohol in ND cannot be bought in stores, either.
But C-stores that sell it have to have a special walled off part to sell it.
I think it’s a bunch of nonsense.
But whatevs.
Just more $$ for a business to comply with a stupid state rule.
ND, as many other states, have a LOT of these nonsense laws.

Badger40 on February 16, 2011 at 12:57 PM

In Virginia we have to buy our liquor exclusively from state owned liquor stores. Though we are able to buy beer and wine at the grocery store.

One other stupid blue law we have in Virginia is that you can not hunt on Sundays. So if I go out deer hunting and don’t shoot anything on Saturday I can’t go out in the field and try again Sunday. It’s so stupid.

dczombie on February 16, 2011 at 12:59 PM

In Indiana,

IU_Conservative on February 16, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Dont get me started on stupid Indiana Alcohol laws. Did you know that package liquor stores cant sell cold soda???? WTF kinda of stupid pointless law is that?? the Sunday Sales law is one of the Minor ones here in Indiana

the_ancient on February 16, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Indianapolis had bars closed on sunday however, all the strip clubs were open…

Jeff2161 on February 16, 2011 at 1:01 PM

I see no reason why selling alcohol on Sunday is contrary to Christian morals. In California, where I grew up, you can buy alcohol on Sunday. Heck, you can buy hard liquor in grocery stores. None of the conservative Christians I grew up with were upset about these laws. When I moved to Texas, I discovered there were restrictions on alcohol (no hard liquor sales on Sunday, hard liquor only available at liquor stores). They struck me as outmoded and silly. After living here for a year and a half, they still strike me that way.

Unless you are arguing against Sunday liquor consumption, why argue against Sunday liquor sales?

darii on February 16, 2011 at 1:01 PM

“The sabbath was created for man, not man for the sabbath”

cjtony97 on February 16, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Another interesting issue that demonstrates just how badly gov’t perverts the market, in NY there has been some effort to pass a bill to allow grocery stores to sell wine (they can already sell beer).

Obviously, liquor stores oppose this.

the rule has been something along the lines of – stores selling liquor and wine cannot sell food items. So, liquor stores are unable to diversify at all and act also as convenient stores.

Now, liquor stores have built up following the rules. But, if we allow grocery stores to sell wine (which would be the conservative, free-market position), it will kill off the liquor stores b/c a) it would be more convenient to pick up your wine at the grocery store while shopping and b) the big chain groery stores can likely undercut the liquor stores.

So, what does a good conservative support? The free-market principals of allowing any store that wants to sell wine? or, the “fair” principal that the liquor stores invested and built their businesses based on the rules and changing the rules now will harm them?

This also demonstrates how every gov’t law/regulation creates rent-seekers who end up profitting from the law/regulation, so no matter how dumb, ineffective or inefficient such law/regulation is, you can’t get rid of it.

Why not create a law that says only specially licensed stores can sell toilet paper?

Monkeytoe on February 16, 2011 at 1:07 PM

People want booze, they’ll buy ti ahead of time.
One day without won’t kill anyone.
But these laws do not prevent drinking, either.

Badger40 on February 16, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Exactly. If people are still going to get their booze, why restrict Sunday sales?

Would I be guilty of stereotyping too much if I were to blame the pushback agaisnt repealing these laws on latent Puritanical tendencies among Southern Protestants?

Prohibition failed. I don’t understand why social conservatives see alcohol sales on Sunday as a deeply moral issue on which they need to make a stand.

darii on February 16, 2011 at 1:07 PM

In West Virginia, one can purchase single cans of cold beer at gas stations. But not until after one o’clock on a Sunday, I think.

myrenovations on February 16, 2011 at 1:08 PM

So, what does a good conservative support? The free-market principals of allowing any store that wants to sell wine? or, the “fair” principal that the liquor stores invested and built their businesses based on the rules and changing the rules now will harm them?

This also demonstrates how every gov’t law/regulation creates rent-seekers who end up profitting from the law/regulation, so no matter how dumb, ineffective or inefficient such law/regulation is, you can’t get rid of it.

Why not create a law that says only specially licensed stores can sell toilet paper?

Monkeytoe on February 16, 2011 at 1:07 PM

+1

darii on February 16, 2011 at 1:09 PM

I see maybe one or two people posting here who have any dog in this fight at all. If you’re not from Georgia, it’s none of your business.

I live in a dry county in Alabama, and I’m fine with that. The two largest cities in this county allow alcohol sales, but not on Sunday. We voted, more than once, and that’s good enough for me.

And if you don’t live here, it’s none of your business.

Squiggy on February 16, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Christian blue laws == sharia light.

This fact can not be denied.

esnap on February 16, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Telling me my vote is worth less than yours is fascism.

Squiggy on February 16, 2011 at 1:12 PM

I live in a dry county in Alabama, and I’m fine with that. The two largest cities in this county allow alcohol sales, but not on Sunday. We voted, more than once, and that’s good enough for me.

And if you don’t live here, it’s none of your business.

Squiggy on February 16, 2011 at 1:10 PM

And that’s fair enough. But if this discussion is to be limited to those with a dog in the fight, there won’t be very many comments.

darii on February 16, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Christian blue laws == sharia light.

This fact can not be denied.

esnap on February 16, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Stupidity.

darii on February 16, 2011 at 1:13 PM

From more readers in the comments than I could list here, another pressing question. From the perspective of the liquor store owners, is six days per week actually better for business, as it allows them to make the same sales in six days without incurring the overhead costs of running on Sundays? Is the government actually doing them a favor by not allowing others to cut into their sales by running on a day when they are closed? Not sure how that addresses the free market principle of the issue, but it’s a valid question.

I have some knowledge of this having spent a number of years in liquor distribution. Mom and pop stores, which the liquor industry still has a lot of, want the Sunday off. Opening sundays will mean they must work and they are not liekly to get any more sales. The sales are just spread over 7 days. If they don’t open they run the chance of their regular customers going to a warehouse store and perhaps never returning even on the days they are open. People tend to stick with using one store.

Rocks on February 16, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Blue laws don’t work, and they harm businesses.

I live in a rural conservative county adjacent to Jacksonville, FL. While Duval County (Jax) allows Sunday booze sales before 2:00 pm on account of the NFL team’s presence, my rural county does not allow such sales before 2:00 pm.

The local sports bars lose business on Sundays during NFL season (and, to a lesser extent, March Madness) to the Jax sports bars that are about 5 – 10 miles away, across the county line. If I go into a specific Jax sports bar and grill JUST across the county border on a Sunday after noon and before 2:00 pm, the place is packed, and I recognize a lot of faces from my neighborhood.

People in my county like watching the Jaguars play on Sundays, and yes, they like to toss back a beer or two during the game. Businesses in my county have FOR YEARS lobbied to have the blue laws dropped, or at least scaled back to noon instead of 2:00 (since kickoff is usually 1:00 pm for home games). They county shoots it down every time, in the name of Jesus.

NOTE: I am a born-again Christian and proudly proclaim the gospel of Jesus to anyone who wishes to hear it! However, it is clear that people in my county who want to have a beer WILL do so, at the expense of local businesses. The blue laws are stopping no one from drinking, period.

crushliberalism on February 16, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Interesting that people who are against abortion are told – by some other Conservatives – to stifle themselves on that issue because there are more important issues.

Who’da thunk that your ability to buy booze 7 days a week was so important? If you can’t remember to get to the store on one of the other 6 days in the week perhaps you’ve already lost too many brain cells.

katiejane on February 16, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Christian blue laws == sharia light.

This fact can not be denied.

esnap on February 16, 2011 at 12:32 PM

that’s like saying that every law based on subjective morality is equivalent to stoning people to death. That’s just silly.

Example, are age of consent laws (i.e., it is statutory rape for an adult to have sex with a 15 year old girl) == to sharia light? What is the non-morality basis for arbitrarily determining when someone can legally give consent to sex?

A ton of laws (most even) are based on subjective morals. I don’t think most rational people would say we have to get rid of all such laws or we are “sharia light”.

Monkeytoe on February 16, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Is the “social conservatives against blue laws” a large demo or am I part of the social con minority which opposes these?

darii on February 16, 2011 at 1:22 PM

And that’s fair enough. But if this discussion is to be limited to those with a dog in the fight, there won’t be very many comments.

darii on February 16, 2011 at 1:12 PM

I didn’t mean the discussion. I meant the laws. In a few counties in Alabama Sunday sales are legal, but since I don’t live there, it’s not my business.

The guy who equated Christians to Sharia is an idiot, though.

Squiggy on February 16, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Is the “social conservatives against blue laws” a large demo or am I part of the social con minority which opposes these?

darii on February 16, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Or at least blue laws concerned with liquor sales.

darii on February 16, 2011 at 1:23 PM

I didn’t mean the discussion. I meant the laws. In a few counties in Alabama Sunday sales are legal, but since I don’t live there, it’s not my business.

The guy who equated Christians to Sharia is an idiot, though.

Squiggy on February 16, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Agreed

darii on February 16, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Something is missing from this comment thread, but I just can’t put my finger on what it is…

Oh, and I updated the post with the comment made by many of you over how six day sales might help business owners.

Jazz Shaw on February 16, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Is the “social conservatives against blue laws” a large demo or am I part of the social con minority which opposes these?

darii on February 16, 2011 at 1:22 PM

I’m a social and fiscal conservative, and I voted for Sunday blue laws in my county. You move here, you live with it.

But what you do in your county is your business. You want alcohol sales in candy stores, go for it. You just won’t be on my list of possible places to live. (I know, you’re heartbroken)

Squiggy on February 16, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Comment pages: 1 2