ILNews

Convenience stores sue to be able to sell cold beer

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association has filed a complaint in federal court challenging the law governing the sale of cold beer. Convenience stores, pharmacies and groceries are unable to sell cold beer under current law.

Indiana is the only state that regulates beer sales based on temperature, I.C. 7.1-5-10-11. The law was enacted in 1941 and only affects businesses that hold a beer dealer’s permit.

The association and three of its members – Ricker’s, Thorntons and Freedom Express – claim the law violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by restricting convenience, grocery and pharmacy stores to selling beer only at room temperature.

The plaintiffs argue that the current law causes the IPCA member stores to lose a “significant amount of revenue,” including from the sale of craft beer, which often must be kept cold for quality control purposes.

“There is no logic with the current law that gives one class of retailer an exclusive right to sell cold beer,” said IPCA Executive Director Scot Imus. “Indiana’s alcohol laws have not always favored one retailer over another and, in fact, it was just in the last 50 years that liquor stores were granted the privilege of selling cold beer.”

The plaintiffs claim the law is confusing to customers and that the statutes and regulations have evolved into an “irrational and discriminatory regulatory regime that prevents certain retail permit holders – such as grocery and convenience stores – from selling refrigerated beer, while allowing the sales at package liquor stores,” according to the complaint.

The lawsuit contends that between 2007 and 2012, Indiana package liquor stores were 138 percent more likely to violate Indiana liquor laws than were licensed grocery stores (including convenience stores) and pharmacies. Bars and restaurants were 1,376 percent more likely to violate Indiana liquor law than grocery stores or pharmacies over that same time period.

The case, Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, et al. v. Alex Huskey, in his official capacity as chairman of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, et al., 1:13-CV-784., was filed Tuesday morning in the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division.

Legislation was introduced in the Senate during the 2013 legislative session, but did not pass, that would have allowed the holder of a beer dealer’s permit issued to a grocery story or drug store to sell and deliver cold beer made by an Indiana microbrewery.

IPAC is a nonprofit trade association of more than 250 primarily small- and medium-sized, family-owned businesses that operate convenience stores and supply petroleum throughout Indiana. IPAC is represented by attorneys John Maley and Mark Crandley of Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

ADVERTISEMENT