Retailers, Liquor Stores Unite on Alcohol Laws

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(photo courtesy Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers) (photo courtesy Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers)
INDIANAPOLIS -

The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers and the Indiana Retail Council have come together on a slate of policy agreements they say would strengthen the state's alcohol laws. The organizations say they are supporting legalizing carry-out Sunday alcohol sales, while opposing the expansion of the sale of cold beer.

In a joint statement, IABR Chairman Jon Sinder and IRC President Jon Snider say the moves would "improve public health and enhance safety measures, while preserving the practices of freedom and retailing that Hoosier businesses and consumers deserve."

Earlier this week, Ball State University released results of a survey suggesting a majority of Hoosiers support both cold beer sales in supermarkets and convenience stores and Sunday sales. The results come from the Old National/Ball State University 2017 Hoosier Survey and are based on answers from 600 telephone respondents.

During the most recent legislative session, lawmakers approved a bill closing a so-called loophole that Ricker's used to sell cold beer at its convenience stores. The change prohibits restaurants from selling carryout alcohol unless at least 60 percent of their gross retail income from alcoholic beverage sales comes from drinks consumed on the premises.

Indiana's alcohol laws were in the spotlight during the most recent legislative session, when lawmakers approved a bill closing a so-called loophole that allowed Ricker's convenience stores to sell cold beer. The measure prohibits restaurants from selling carryout alcohol unless at least 60 percent of their gross retail income from alcoholic beverage sales comes from drinks consumed on the premises.

The IABR and IRC released the following policy positions:

The IABR and IRC strongly oppose the expansion of the sale of cold beer in Indiana.

The IABR and the IRC believe that the sale of alcohol should be strictly regulated and that the existing regulations regarding cold beer are important safety measures.

IABR and IRC strongly oppose new restrictions on the type and variety of adult beverage products sold and displayed by drug and grocery stores.

IABR and IRC support significantly increasing the fines for sales to minors. Tripling the fines would generate funds that could be used to increase the number of excise officers.

The IABR and the IRC support strengthening and increasing penalties for adults who host parties and furnish alcohol to minors. 

While the IABR and the IRC recognize that alcoholic beverages are now sold responsibly in Indiana, both organizations support changes that would require a mandatory age verification check for alcohol purchases; and require video monitoring or the presence of store employees in close proximity to the sale and/or display of alcoholic beverages.  

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