Blue Laws Shut Package Store, Owner Says

HARTFORD, CT – Connecticut’s outdated Blue Law will force package store owners throughout the state to sit on the sidelines this Super Bowl Sunday as border retailers ring up the sales, according to local retailers and the Distilled Spirits Council – a national trade association representing America’s leading distillers.

“Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest home-entertaining event of the year for football fans and I’m forced to shut my doors while other states poach our sales,” said Chris Kull, owner of WineWise, a retail store in Greenwich, Connecticut near the New York border.  “Banning Sunday sales is anti-business, anti-consumer, and a blatant restraint of trade.  Let each retailer decide what is best for his or her business.”

Liquor store parking lots across the border will be filled with Connecticut cars stocking up, he noted, hurting his business and costing the state buckets of revenue.

Thirty-four states across the country currently allow Sunday sales of distilled spirits.  Since 2002, 12 states have modernized their liquor laws by passing legislation allowing Sunday sales.  Connecticut, along with Georgia and Indiana, prohibits Sunday sales of all beverage alcohol despite public sentiment in favor of allowing Sunday sales.

“Despite planning ahead, party hosts will inevitably forget something,” said David Wojnar, vice president of the Distilled Spirits Council, whose organization has aggressively supported legislation to roll back Blue Laws in many states across the country.  “Repealing the 1930’s ban on Sunday sales would provide adult consumers who choose to drink with much-needed convenience.”

Wojnar added that in today’s modern economy, with dual-income households becoming the norm, Sunday is now the second busiest shopping day of the week.  “These archaic laws hinder consumers’ ability to purchase spirits for their Super Bowl parties and deprive state coffers from additional sales tax revenue that would be gained from year-round Sunday sales,” Wojnar said.

Wojnar noted that year-round Sunday sales of distilled spirits in Connecticut would lead to an estimated retailer revenue impact in the $20 million range and net over $2 million for the state in additional sales tax revenue.