A new survey shows that a majority of people in the state favor allowing Sunday carryout alcohol sales.

Mike Pomranz
November 08, 2017

Prohibition was largely a religious-driven movement, and if you need further evidence, in many areas, you don’t have to look hard to find it. Across the country, a surprising number of places still have different rules dictating alcohol sales on Sunday – a not-so-coincidental holdover from the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment. Specifically, 11 states ban the retail sale of liquor on Sunday. And of them, Indiana is the most restrictive of all: banning the retail sale of all alcoholic beverages – beer, wine and spirits – on Sundays. But according to a new poll, though the laws may be a throwback, the majority of residents in the state are ready for a modern change.

According to the Indianapolis Star, last month’s Old National Bank/Ball State University 2017 Hoosier Survey found that 58 percent of people polled in the state favored legalizing Sunday carryout sales. Meanwhile, only 35 people opposed changing the Sunday ban. Currently, Indiana only allows packaged beer sales on Sundays at breweries, wineries and distilleries, but as the Star points out, the state legislature has been actively considering changes to those laws.

As it stands now, Indiana is joined by only Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia as the states that don’t allow the sale of liquor on Sunday – though none of them are as restrictive on beer and wine. And over the past 15 years, that list has shrunk considerably. Since 2002, 17 states have dropped similar bans: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington. The most recent addition to the Sunday off-premise list is Minnesota, which just allowed spirit sales on Sunday this past July. Not that all stores are taking advantage of the new rules. “I want Sunday off with my kids,” said one bottle shop owner after the ban was lifted, explaining why he was planning to stay closed. But that’s the thing: It’s all about having the freedom to choose.

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