Chris Sikich, writing for the Indianapolis Star, has an article entitled Indiana legislature to continue ban on Sunday carry-out alcohol sales. House Public Policy Committee Chairman Bill Davis (R-Portland)has decided that a bill lifting the ban on Sunday sales of alcohol won’t get a committee vote.
Indiana will, therefore, remain the last state in the country banning Sunday sales of beer, wine, and liquor on Sundays at retail stores.
This law is a pointless anachronism, and it ought to be opposed by those ostensibly in favor of the free market and small government. At least rhetorically, Hoosier lawmakers are in favor of those things. There is no real reason why we should treat package liquor stores differently than other kinds of merchants who, all things being equal, would rather reduce competition with big box stores.
Of course, when it comes to Sunday alcohol sales, my real concern is not with those big philosophical issues. I can dress up my personal concerns in clothing of broad political and economic policy positions. But, in reality, I just want to be able to buy beer on Sundays. If this were a Tuesday ban on scrapbooking materials, I doubt the issue would ever grace this blog; because I would not care. Saturdays and Sundays are the days when I’m most likely to get out to a store. Beer is one of my favorite things to buy. So, it’s not infrequent that it occurs to me on a Sunday that I’d like to be able to pick up some beer.
And, that’s really the point, I think. It’s not just that liquor store owners want a day off. It’s also that Sundays are one of the days when customers are most likely to be in a big box store for something or other. If liquor is an option, customers will pick that up at the big box store while they’re out. On the other hand, if the customer has made his or her trip to the box store on Sunday; then has to make a separate trip for beer or wine, there is a bigger chance the customer will just drop by the package liquor store rather than hassling with the ginormous parking lot and crowds of people between him and his 6-pack.
Still, I’m selfish, the plight of the liquor store owner does not keep me awake nights when I’m contemplating my desire for slightly more convenient access to alcohol. But, fortunately, all is not lost. The General Assembly does permit me the liberty of going down to People’s Brewing and picking up a growler of Mr. Brown on a Sunday if I’m so inclined.