Indiana Sunday alcohol sales ban could be history

Friday, February 23, 2018 05:16PM
It's been in place since Prohibition, and now the ban on selling carryout alcohol on Sundays in Indiana is one step closer to becoming history.


WHITING, Ind. - It's been in place since Prohibition, and now the ban on selling carryout alcohol on Sundays in Indiana is one step closer to becoming history.

"It's exciting. I know Indiana residents are very excited about it," said Amber Loach of Whiting.

The bill is now headed to Gov. Eric Holcomb after the Senate voted 38-10 on Thursday.

District 2 State Senator Lonnie Randolph co-sponsored the bill. He said lawmakers felt growing pressure from the public to get rid of the law.

"We felt like even though we didn't know the reason why it was put in place, they put it there for a reason. So therefore we were concerned about messing with it. So we kept it the way it was for this length of time," Randolph said.

Opponents said six days a week for retailers to sell alcohol is enough.

"We don't feel like it needs to be expanded. Alcohol is still the most used and widely consumed drugs by minors and adults in Indiana. We already think it's convenient enough," said Lisa Hutcheson, the director of the Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking.

Irene Orski has owned a liquor store in East Chicago for 50 years. She said she plans to remain closed on Sundays either way.

"It is my Sunday off. I go to church and that's it," Orski said.

Across state lines in Illinois, retailers are concerned.

"Sunday is the one day of the week when Illinois retailers might see someone from Indiana coming to Illinois to make purchases. Normally, it flows out. This change will have some negative impact on sales for stores bordering Indiana which is one reason, I'm sure, Indiana made this change," said Rob Karr, the president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.

Sabrina Mathews, a cashier at Happy Jacks Liquor in Whiting, said her customers are looking forward to saving on gas.

"They complain about the prices. They complain about the drive and then we have customers who come from Illinois that prefer we be open because of the prices," she said.

Gov. Holcomb is expected to sign the bill into law next week. It could go into effect as early as March 4.
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