Buying booze on Sunday

August 11, 2008
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One organization in Indiana is looking to end one of our state’s last remaining “blue laws” – buying alcohol from a store on Sundays. As an adult of legal drinking age, I am all for changing this state law. I know Indiana is a conservative state with deep-seated religious values, but not everyone in the state is religiously or morally opposed to drinking on Sunday. And those who don’t want to drink on Sunday can continue not to if the law is amended to allow alcohol sales on Sunday.

Although lawmakers will say this isn’t a religious issue, in some ways it is. The reason for prohibiting Sunday alcohol sales started with other shops and retailers being closed Sunday because it was most people’s day of worship. My parents have mentioned how when they were growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, a lot of shops were closed Sunday. Now, almost every retailer is open Sunday, with one other notable holdover from the blue laws – car dealerships.

I’ve lived here for more than 20 years and know that I can’t buy alcohol on Sunday from a store. But what I’ve never understood is why I can get in my car, drive to my local tavern and drink? To me, that would increase the chances of drunk-driving accidents more so than selling beer or wine in a grocery store, which is an argument some have for keeping the Sunday restrictions.

I can recall several times during the past few years this issue coming up for proposal or debate for our General Assembly. Each time, supporters of changing the law hoped it was finally the year Indiana changes it and those in opposition bring up drinking and driving and religion. This year, Hoosiers for Beverage Choices has started a Web site residents a petition to sign showing legislators people want to be able to buy alcohol on Sunday.

But with all of the other major issues Hoosiers are facing right now – property taxes, the economy, education, higher prices on commodities, health care – will the General Assembly 1) have someone sponsor a bill to change the alcohol laws here, and 2) will the bill even get through our legislature?
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  • I am in complete support of the booze sales on any given day of the week. If you go to Chicago and want something to drink, you can go to the local store and get it. There may be a time restriction, but not a day restriction there (except the usual -Election Day, and a few others).

    Here is a smart idea... Lets go drink and drive!... it will be much better than getting booze at the store and driving home and drinking it (AT HOME)....

    Where is the intelligence in that?
  • I am totally for this law to change. Indiana is losing a lot of tax dollars to other states by not allowing alcohol sales on Sundays. If I forget to go get beer on Saturday for the next day, Illinois get that revenue from me. I\'ve been there twice in the past 6 weeks. That\'s a lot of Hoosier dollars going to another state to buy it.

    I\'ve read on some other sites that people not wanting this to change, and in fact have all stores closed on Sunday. They have said we should spend that Sunday with our family. Well, when I have to go out to Illinois, I\'m missing out on a least an hour round trip, instead of driving 15 minutes round trip to the liquor store or the grocery store. Not to mention the gas it costs me.

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  2. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  3. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

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