Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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Opinion

October 30, 2013

End Sunday alcohol ban

Those who oppose legalizing the retail sale of alcohol on Sundays make a compelling argument.

Hoosiers already can buy alcohol six days a week, they say. Why add one more day?

We understand the sentiment, but the fact is the state already has had that debate.

Hoosiers can buy alcohol on Sundays. They just have to buy it in a restaurant or bar.

The message that sends is it’s OK to drink in a bar or a restaurant on a Sunday. You just can’t buy a six-pack to take home.

Is that really the message we want to send? Do we really want to say it’s OK to drink and drive home, but it’s not OK to drive home and drink?

There was a time when you couldn’t buy alcohol on Sundays, but that time has passed. And when lawmakers reconvene in January, we hope they choose, finally, to regulate Sunday alcohol sales in a way that makes sense.

Leaving on the books a prohibition that allows for the purchase of alcohol to be consumed only away from home would not seem to meet that criterion.

A measure filed last session by state Sen. Phil Boots, a Republican from Crawfordsville, would’ve made some other sensible changes.

Boots’ bill would’ve allowed package liquor stores to sell more food items, grocery and drug stores to sell cold beer, and adults to take their children into liquor stores.

The bill was denied a vote by House Public Policy Chairman Bill Davis.

Passing a law to allow Sunday carryout sales would bring Indiana in line with the rest of the country. Some states have restrictions on those sales.

A few, for example, allow only the sale of beer and wine. Indiana, though, is the last state in the nation that bans all sales of carryout alcohol on Sundays.

One of these days, Indiana lawmakers will change that. The coming legislative session would be as good a time as any.

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