The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers is once again showing its support for legislation to allow Sunday alcohol sales. The reaffirmation comes as the state’s Alcohol Code Revision Commission is in the midst of hearings reviewing Indiana’s alcohol laws.
The organization says it would support Sunday sales as retailers such as liquor stores and grocery stores. The Alcohol Revision Commission, which was announced in May, has already touched on the topic with public hearings in September.
Chairman Jon Sinder says he believes a compromise can be reached without putting a risk on safety.
"Indiana’s ban on the carryout sale of alcohol on Sundays is antiquated and impacts the small business package liquor stores by forcing them to close their doors one day per week,” Sinder said in a news release. "We call on all stakeholders to work together to deliver results for Hoosiers. Indiana deserves a serious and comprehensive discussion about ways to meaningfully reform our alcohol laws that includes all stakeholders, from the factory to the end consumer."
The IABR issued the following statement as a group:
The time has come for Sunday sales. We are eager to work together with legislators to successfully draft and pass meaningful and impactful public policy that will allow Hoosiers to purchase alcohol for carryout on Sundays for the first time since prohibition.
Alcohol is a dangerous product that can destroy lives, families, and communities. We need strong regulations on the sale of alcohol products that allow for access while ensuring that it does not get into the wrong hands.
As responsible retailers, we remain committed to exceeding the needs and expectations of our loyal customers while also promoting an atmosphere of safety for our team members and all who enter our stores that goes above and beyond simply what is required by the state. We owe this to the Indiana communities in which our stores reside.
The organization supported legislation for Sunday alcohol sales in 2015, which died without received a final vote in the House. That bill would have required grocery stores and pharmacies to sell alcohol in designated locations and keep liquor behind the counter.
A 2016 version of the bill died in committee. Among the requirements in that bill, retailers where minors were allowed would have been required to have video surveillance on spots where customers could access alcoholic products, another topic which received public testimony during a recent meeting of the Alcohol Revision Commission.
The commission has three more scheduled meetings with the next taking place October 10. It will submit recommendations to the Indiana General Assembly before the 2018 and 2019 sessions.