Indiana's New Carryout Beer Rule Heads to Governor's Desk
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Senate approved carryout alcohol sales on Sundays with a 38-10 final vote.
Once Gov Eric. Holcomb signs Senate Bill 1, which he has promised to do, state residents will be able to buy alcohol as soon as March 4, the first Sunday on which it would be legal, reported the Journal Gazette.
Earlier this month, the Indiana House of Representatives Public Policy Committee approved allowing Sunday sales to take effect immediately once the law was changed, instead of waiting until this summer, as CSNews Online previously reported.
Between noon and 8 p.m. on Sundays, convenience stores, grocery stores, drug stores and liquor stores will all be able to sell beer and wine. However, c-stores are still barred from selling cold beer.
"I think there are a lot more important things we're working on certainly but I think it's symbolically important as we evolve our alcohol laws forward a little bit," stated Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne). "It's an important bill in the sense that we're modernizing our alcohol laws in a way the public supports."
There was no discussion on the bill before the Senate voted, according to the report.
Retailers that already sell alcohol from Monday through Saturday will have to make very few changes to begin Sunday sales, Grant Monahan, executive director of the Indiana Retail Council, told IndyStar.
"If stores have barriers blocking those aisles on Sunday, they will be gone," he said.
However, liquor stores are having to take quick action due to the date of allowable Sunday sales coming sooner than expected. Currently, liquor stores are closed on Sundays.
"Obviously it's an issue of staffing and it's coming sooner than expected, so we’ll have to scramble," said Jon Sinder, co-owner of Crown Liquors and president of the Indiana Association of Beverage retailers.
The Beverage Retailers group applauded the change to Sunday alcohol sales.
"Indiana's small business package liquor stores have been preparing for this outcome for months by updating work schedules and if needed hiring, training and licensing new employees that reach the highest standards of safety as required by Indiana law," the group said in a released statement. "Indiana's neighborhood package liquor stores have been responsible merchants of alcohol products since 1933 and we will be ready to open our doors on Sundays for the first time. We are eager to welcome our loyal customers.”