State committee to study Indiana’s liquor laws

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS – A state committee will soon look at Indiana’s liquor laws, which a state senator said could result in major changes, including a Sunday liquor sales bill.

The committee stems from an uproar caused during the final weeks of the 2017 legislative session. Ricker’s Gas Station obtained a liquor license to sell cold beer carryout.

Lawmakers changed requirements, effectively removing Ricker’s license next spring. Right now, two of the companies gas stations sell cold liquor because it has a made-to-order food section.

Ahead of the meeting, 24-Hour News 8 asked Hoosiers if they’d like to see changes.

“Please do not sell alcohol on Sunday because Monday through Saturday is enough time to purchase alcohol,” Indianapolis resident Leland Darden said.

“I do know it’s a law that a lot of people are really tired of, and say it’s time to let it go,” Indianapolis resident Marlena Banks said.

Don’t expect to get alcohol on Sunday, or cold beer from a gas station or grocery store anytime soon. Lawmakers won’t make any decisions during this committee study. Instead, they’ll gain information, and take testimony to help write bills for when they return in January.

Former lawmakers, industry insiders, and current legislators, including State Senator Karen Tallian, D-Portage are on the committee.

“I don’t want to say that we should, like, repeal and replace because those words should never come out of my mouth, right,” Sen. Tallian, said. “But there are a lot things that need to be fixed in that title.”

While she’s open to change, she’s worried about others. Public policy committees looked at the issue this past session.

Six of the eight lawmakers on the alcohol review committee come from public policy, including State Senator Ron Alting, R-Lafayette.

“The pro is that you bring a tremendous amount of knowledge, even though some might be a difference of opinion, that’s a good thing,” Sen. Alting said. “That’s what a study is about.”

One thing Sen. Alting thinks will get changed next session is Sunday sales. But some Hoosiers aren’t sure decades old laws will dissolve.

“If I absolutely need to get a bottle of wine, I’ll get it when I can get it,” Banks said.

“I live around the corner from a liquor store, so they all come cold,” Darden said.

Not all members of the committee have been named. Until they are, we won’t know when the group will meet. While Sen. Alting believes they’ll tackle Sunday sales this upcoming session, the committee will meet again next year to review other laws.

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