HB 4231 & SB 492 allow local option elections to authorize seven-day spirits sales

Today, the South Carolina Craft Distillers Guild (SCCDG) and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) sent a joint letter to the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee as its subcommittee considered HB 4231 and SB 492, bills to allow seven-day spirits sales through local option elections.

South Carolina is one of only six states in the country that prohibits the retail sale of distilled spirits on Sundays.

“While distillers can be open on Sundays, they are unable to sell their products to consumers. Many craft distillers in South Carolina make the decision to close on Sundays because it’s not fiscally sound to keep the doors open,” said Scott Blackwell, president of SCCDG. “For those that decide to stay open, disappointed consumers are forced to go home empty handed when visiting on Sundays without realizing they were prohibited from buying a bottle on that day.”

Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah are the only remaining states that prohibit Sunday sales.

“Across the country, states have modernized their marketplace regarding alcohol sales laws, and since 2002, 22 states have passed laws permitting Sunday sales year-round,” said Andy Deloney, senior vice president and head of state public policy for DISCUS. “Alcohol is already available for sale on Sundays at restaurants and bars, and beer and wine are allowed to be sold on Sunday as well. Permitting package stores and distilleries to sell distilled spirits on Sundays after local ballot box decisions simply gives adult consumers more convenience and accommodates tourists and visitors to South Carolina.”

The two organizations have also been spearheading a consumer-led campaign to encourage South Carolinians to make their voices heard at the Capitol. In less than a week, the campaign powered by DISCUS’ Spirits United, has generated more than 1,000 letters to legislators so far.

“We encourage any adults in South Carolina who want to see this outdated ban removed to join us at BootTheBan.org,” said Deloney.