Sunday Alcohol Sales Nixed Again

Posted: Updated:
(Image Courtesy of The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers) (Image Courtesy of The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers)
INDIANAPOLIS -

Hoosiers hoping to buy alcohol on Sundays will have to wait longer. The Indiana House Public Policy Committee voted Wednesday morning against a measure that would permit Sunday sales in package liquor, grocery and drug stores.

House Bill 1399 included parameters for clerks and displays, and required retailers, other than package liquor stores, to have video surveillance on spots where customers could access alcoholic products.

HB 1399 was authored by House Committee on Public Policy chairman Tom Dermody (R-20) and co-authored by Sean Eberhart (R-57) and Terri Austin (D-36). Dermody, who has announced he won't seek office again in the next election, also crafted a bill in the 2015 session to reverse the 80-year-old ban. That proposal made it further than any previous attempt. It included amendments requiring grocery stores and pharmacies to sell alcohol in designated locations and keep liquor behind the counter.

The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers, which supported last year's bill, was against the 2016 version. In a statement, Chief Executive Officer Patrick Tamm says:

We are pleased to see the committee recognize a necessary comprehensive public policy solution regarding how and where alcohol is sold. The State of Indiana has given Hoosier-owned package stores a business model through laws and regulations that we have operated under for more than 80 years. Last year there was comprehensive legislation put forth that contained significant public policy regarding where and how alcohol is sold, which included Sunday Sales. We were proud to support last year’s bill, however this year’s legislation, unfortunately, did not meet that objective. We thank the committee for acknowledging that alcohol is not milk or candy and for ultimately upholding Indiana's regulations on alcohol.

The association represents 1,000 package store owners throughout the state.

Ricker Oil Co. Chairman Jay Ricker says he is frustrated, but not surprised, by the decision.
Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers President Patrick Tamm says the decision maintains a business model that has been in place for more than 80 years.
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