Washington’s State Run Liquor Stores to Open this Coming Sunday for the First Time since Prohibition
WASHINGTON, DC – Starting this coming Labor Day weekend, many of Washington’s state-run liquor stores will open their doors for the first time since Prohibition. In July, about one third of the state’s contract stores chose to open for business on Sunday. “Washington has taken an important step forward in modernizing its liquor laws to bring adult consumers greater convenience and more choices,” said Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President Mark Gorman, whose organization lobbied aggressively for the change. “Prohibition-era Blue Laws no longer make sense in our modern economy where Sunday is now the second busiest shopping day of the week.” The new law was approved this year by Governor Christine Gregoire and the Washington legislature. Under the legislation, the Washington Liquor Control Board will open up to 20 of the state’s 161 liquor stores for spirits sales on Sunday, September 4. In addition, the 158 stores operated by contract agents were given the option to open for business at their discretion, starting Sunday, July 24. Washington is one of a growing national trend of states re-examining the rationale behind outdated Sunday sales prohibitions and other Blue Law restrictions as a way to benefit consumers while at the same time raising much needed revenues. In the past three years alone, 11 other states have rolled back their Blue laws bringing the total – with Washington – to 33 states that permit Sunday liquor sales.