New campaign kicks off for Sunday alcohol sales

Craft Beers
A selection of craft beer including Indiana's Three Floyds Brewery's Arctic Panzer Wolf, Alpha Clause and Rye da Tiger are shown on the shelves of Elite Beverages (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A new round will begin Tuesday in the fight for Sunday alcohol sales.

A coalition of supporters is scheduled to launch a new campaign urging state legislators to change the law.

You can already buy a drink at a restaurant on Sunday, take home a growler of beer from a craft brewery, or a bottle of wine from a winery.  But supporters want retailers to be able to sell alcohol on Sunday as well.

State lawmakers are expected to once again consider the change when they reconvene next year.

According to this year’s WISH-TV/Ball State University Hoosier Survey, 52-percent favor Sunday alcohol sales and 46 percent are opposed.

The push for Sunday alcohol sales starts in the grocery stores who, along with big box stores, compete with the package liquor stores that are currently closed on Sundays.

“I think it’s time to change,” said John Elliot of Kroger earlier this year. “We treat it appropriately as a controlled substance and it’s time to make the right decision for Hoosiers and move on.”

“There’s an old saying about public opinion that the public is always in front of public laws,” said Ball State professor Ray Scheele. “So, it could very well be that public opinion now is leading this particular issue.”

But the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers is leading opposition that is still undefeated in the General Assembly.
Patrick Tamm represents package store owners who argue that Sunday sales would increase consumption and underage drinking.

“Alcohol is available in the state of Indiana for off premise consumption over 73 percent of the hours in a given week,” said Tamm earlier this year.

Tamm is also fighting cold beer sales in grocery and convenience stores and the Hoosier Survey shows even more support for that.

57 percent favor it and 40 percent oppose.

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