Scott Tibbs
blog post
May 13th, 2005

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"Black out the blue laws"

Tony Sams says we should eliminate so called "blue laws" that prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sundays. I agree. There is no legitimate societal interest in keeping these laws on the books. The "blue laws" are an unnecessary regulation on the free market. Frankly, I'm surprised Indiana never did move out of the 19th Century with regard to these laws. (Indiana did finally pass Daylight Savings Time, but not until long after DST was made obsolete by the changing economy. Indiana: moving backward into the 20th Century!)

Here is a note I hope people will keep in mind. When I was in high school, the grocery store where I worked part time did not sell alcoholic beverages. I was told that this was not by choice; there were no more liquor licenses available at the time.

Inevitably, people would read the chain's advertisement in the newspaper and come into the store seeking to buy beer only to find the store did not sell alcohol. (Usually this was people who lived on one of Steuben County's 101 lakes during the summer.) They would complain to store employees when they could not purchase the product advertised in the newspaper. I would explain that we could not legally sell alcohol because we did not have a license, and advised them to take up their concerns with their state legislator.

Other people I know who worked as cashiers in the grocery industry would be scolded by customers when they could not sell alcohol during the time banned by the "blue laws". Some customers would be quite rude when complaining about this.

My point is that, as silly and unnecessary as the "blue laws" are, store employees have no control over when they are allowed to sell alcohol or whether they can sell alcohol at all. While I understand the frustration, the store employee making just above minimum wage must abide by the law. My advice to people annoyed y the "blue laws" was the same as it was fifteen years ago: write, call or e-mail the state representative or state senator in your district.