Association releases new poll in favor of cold beer law

Indiana lawmakers are drafting legislation that would prevent stores from selling cold beer. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — This summer, Indiana lawmakers will study liquor laws, but first, an association hopes a new poll will cool things over.

On Monday, the Indiana Petroleum and Convenience Store Association released the study of a poll it conducted last month. It shows 71 percent of Hoosiers want retailers to sell cold beer, and 65 percent to have Sunday sales.

This comes after Indiana lawmakers drafted a bill to stop gas stations from selling cold beer. This year, Ricker’s Gas Station got a license to sell cold beer at two Central Indiana locations.

Lawmakers disagreed with the state board that issued the permits, and put a pause on future licenses. On Monday, Ricker’s Gas Station owner, Jay Ricker, joined the association at the Statehouse to discuss the poll.

Both said this fight is far from over, and created an online forum for Hoosiers to weigh-in called, ChillIndiana.com.

“I think our role is to make sure the discourse keeps going,” Ricker said. We have some other things that we’ve been thinking about doing to keep media interest.”

“We’re certainly going to promote it heavily on social media,” Indiana Petroleum and Convenience Store Association executive director Scot Imus said. “We’re going to be in stores as well. Possibly to the point where we have a video board in the store with a kiosk.”

Indiana republican leaders issued statements about Monday’s news conference.

Indiana Senate Pro Tem David Long said in part, “I expect the study commission’s first area of focus to be the retail sector of alcohol sales, with formal recommendations being submitted this fall. I am hopeful these recommendations can guide meaningful legislative action with regard to our alcohol laws in the General Assembly’s next legislative session.”

House Speaker Brian Bosma said in part, “Indiana’s alcohol laws are clearly outdated as many of these policies haven’t been overhauled in generations. That’s why Senate leader David Long and I agreed to create a new commission, which will do a deep dive over the next two years to identify responsible, commonsense solutions to bring Indiana’s laws into the 21st Century.”

The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers disagrees with expanding the liquor laws.“Indiana must continue to have strict alcohol regulations because when abused or used irresponsibly alcohol can destroy lives, families, and communities,” said Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers Vice Chair Jon Sinder.

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