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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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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