Cold Beer Debate Heads to Court

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A lawsuit concerning the regulation of cold beer sales is set to get underway Thursday. A group of convenience stores is challenging the constitutionality of the law. Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association Executive Director Scot Imus says the legislation is "outdated" and has cost the state thousands of jobs because convenience stores are slow to expand. Opponents say the lawsuit contradicts public policy, since the Indiana Senate previously declined to hear a bill on the issue. In an interview last year on Inside INdiana Business Television, Ricker Oil Co. Inc. owner Jay Ricker discussed the lawsuit.

February 19, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- The Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (IPCA), is prepared to challenge Indiana's outdated law governing the sale of cold beer in court during a two day trial beginning Thursday, February 20.

IPCA and its members' filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in May 2013 that claims Indiana’s alcohol law violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by restricting convenience, grocery and pharmacy stores to selling beer only at room temperature. Under current law, these stores are only allowed to sell beer warm, while their competitors in the carryout market are allowed to sell beer cold even though convenience stores have a better compliance record with Indiana's alcohol laws.

"Now is the time for common sense to be applied to Indiana's alcohol laws, which are irrational, discriminatory and outdated," said IPCA Executive Director Scot Imus. "We look forward to presenting our case in court as it is not the job of government to pick winners and losers in the marketplace."

The hearing will last two days with the judge taking the matter under advisement and issuing a ruling at a later date.

WHAT: The Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association’s lawsuit, against the State of Indiana challenging the law governing the sale of cold beer.

WHEN: Thursday, February 20 and Friday, February 21

*Trial begins Feb. 20 at 1 p.m.

WHERE: Chief Judge Richard L. Young

United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana

Birch Bayh Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse

Room 349

46 East Ohio Street

Indianapolis

Source: Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association