Colorado, Indiana Seek Changes in Alcohol Laws

Colorado legislators passed Senate Bill 82 this week, a crucial step in repealing that state’s ban on Sunday alcohol sales.

The bill passed the Senate by 24-9, and now moves to Governor Bill Ritter Jr.’s desk for final signature. If he approves the measure, it will go into effect on July 1, 2008. Colorado Sen. Jennifer Veiga and Rep. Cheri Jahn authored the legislation that would make Colorado the 35th state to approve spirits sales on Sundays.

"This is a win for all the store owners and customers who took time out of their busy schedules to fight for this," said Jeanne McEvoy, owner of Aspen Leaf Liquor in Loveland, Colo. "I encourage Governor Ritter to respond to my customers and all of our customers who have expressed to us how much they want the convenience of Sunday sales by signing this bill."

In Indiana, a new poll found that 70% of consumers in the state want to see major changes in liquor laws that restrict cold-beer sales and prohibit carry-out sales of alcohol on Sundays.

Indiana law permits cold-beer sales only at package liquor stores and prohibits Sunday sales at retail stores, while allowing sales of alcohol at bars and restaurants. It is the only state that discriminates in terms of cold-beer sales among retailers and one of just a handful of states that prohibit any Sunday sales.

The poll showed that fully 70% of consumers who were surveyed favored all licensed retailers to sell cold beer, while 58% of respondents believed those same retailers should be allowed to sell alcohol on Sunday.

The press release did not say how many consumers were surveyed, nor did it specify the poll’s margin of error. Still, some say it’s ample proof that the state should change its alcohol policies.

"This poll confirms that Hoosiers want common sense alcohol laws and are tired of the inconvenience of having to shop for certain products at certain stores on certain days of the week,” said Grant Monahan, president of the Alliance of Responsible Alcohol Retailers, a coalition of convenience, drug and grocery store retailers. “They are tired of paying a premium just to have the privilege of buying their beer cold and don’t understand why adults can buy alcohol at bars and restaurants on Sundays, but cannot purchase it at a store.”

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