Appeals Court Agrees With Indiana Cold Beer Regulations
The state law limiting the sale of cold beer has survived another legal challenge. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed with a district court decision that upheld regulations permitting cold beer sales in package stores, but not grocery or convenience stores.
Judge Diane Sykes, who ruled on the appeal along with Judge Kenneth Ripple and Judge Ann Williams, said in the decision the previous court was "right to uphold the law. Indiana’s cold-beer statute is subject to rational-basis review and survives that lenient standard."
The Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association and other industry interest groups were seeking to have the district court decision overturned. In the suit, the group argued "the statute substantially reduces the beer sales of the association’s members and diverts those sales elsewhere."
The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers was not a party in the lawsuit, but filed an amicus brief with the court. The organization applauded the decision in a statement, saying the courts "clearly recognize that package liquor stores are subject to stricter regulations than any other retailer of alcohol in the state of Indiana. Indiana like many other states have public policy goals to limit and control the distribution of alcohol. To accomplish this goal, many states have reasonable restrictions on the sale of alcohol and Indiana is no different."
The court ruling’s conclusion states "to succeed on its claim, the (Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store) Association must ‘negative every conceivable basis which might support’ the statutory scheme.’"