Sorry, Indiana: Still No Carry-Out Booze Sales On Sunday After Bill Flounders

Indiana residents who were dreaming of picking up a bottle of wine or a few beers at their local grocery stores on a Sunday afternoon will have to stick to the other six days of the week, after support for a recent bill proposing to legalize carryout booze sales slowly drained away.

The bill’s author now says he’s giving up the fight after more than two months of intense campaigning and lobbying by big box stores like Kroger and Walmart who were in favor of it at first, reports the Indianapolis Star.

House Public Police Chairman Tom Dermody said he wouldn’t call the measure for a vote, saying he knew it wouldn’t pass.

“I clearly did not have the votes,” he told reporters yesterday. “It was a stretch just to get it to this point.”

The bill would’ve ended Indianapolis’ 80-year-old prohibition on Sunday alcohol sales at drugstores, grocery, convenience and liquor stores.

The measure started to flounder after Dermody introduced an amendment that added more stringent restrictions for retailers other than liquor stores that sell alcohol, including requirements that hard liquor be kept behind a counter. Beer and wine displays would’ve been limited to designated areas of stores under the amendment as well.

Liquor stores had fought similar bills in the past, over concerns that Sunday sales would increase their costs without bringing in more money. And while big-box retailers and grocery stores had at first supported the bill, they’d started to pull away after the new restrictions were added, citing the potential costs involved to renovate stores with special sections for booze.

There are 11 other states that ban Sunday carryout sales, but Indiana is the only one to do so while still allowing bars, restaurants and sports venues to peddle booze on that day of the week.

Sunday alcohol bill meets a familiar fate [The Indianapolis Star]