The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

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January 30, 2013

Indiana lawmakers push for Sunday alcohol sales



"All of our clerks are licensed and trained," Sinder said. "If we go, then the state becomes less safe."

Rep. Sean Eberhart, R-Shelbyville, who authored the House bill, argues that Indiana's current law might be less responsible because it allows for Sunday carryout sales at restaurants.

"How silly is that that we allow somebody to drink and drive home but we don't allow somebody responsible to buy that alcohol on Sunday to take it home and enjoy it?" he asked.

Indiana has loosened its alcohol laws to promote tourism and economic development, Boots said. In 2010, lawmakers approved a bill that allows microbreweries to sell beer for carryout on Sundays.

But the effort to lift the Sunday sales ban has failed in recent years. Grocery stores hope 2013 is different, as Sundays are typically the second-biggest shopping day of the week.

John Elliott, a spokesman for grocery chain Kroger, said the ban is "a customer service problem."

"Every single Sunday, we've got customers who are disappointed that they cannot purchase this product. This is particularly a challenge in communities that have a heavy concentration of factory or shift workers," he said. "There are households that can only shop on Sunday."

Ray Cox, president of liquor store chain Elite Beverages, said Sunday retail alcohol sales are probably "not a big deal either way" to most consumers.

Jerry Owens, 44, of Indianapolis, said it's an inconvenience to not be able to buy alcohol on Sundays, but that people are familiar with the law and have to work around it.

"I don't see anything wrong with (the bills)," he said. "I'd buy beer on Sunday."

Eberhart is hopeful that the legislation will get enough support to make it out of committee. No date has been set for either bill.

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