–Blue Law Prohibits Package Store Alcohol Sales on Sunday–

DALLAS, TX – Texas’s outdated Blue Law banning Sunday liquor sales will keep package store owners out of the action this Sunday, when Cowboys fans across the state will be hosting NFL Draft Day parties to watch the majority of Dallas’s NFL draft picks, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States – noting that Dallas will have 10 of 11 draft choices this Sunday April 26, 2009.

“Texas package stores are forced to punt this Sunday, while retailers across state lines – especially in Mexico – will be ringing in the sales,” said Dale Szyndrowski, Vice President of the Distilled Spirits Council, whose organization has aggressively supported legislation to roll back Blue Laws across the country.  “These Prohibition-era laws continue to hurt package store business and inconvenience consumers, while state coffers lose millions in revenue.”

Szyndrowski pointed to a recent Distilled Spirits Council economic analysis estimates that statewide Sunday sales in Texas would generate between $93 and $115 million in new revenues for Texas retailers – an increase of 6.5 to 8.0 percent – and between $8.7 and $10.8 million in new tax revenues.

Thirty-six states across the country currently allow Sunday sales of distilled spirits.  Since 2002, 14 states have modernized their liquor laws by passing legislation allowing Sunday sales, including most recently Texas’s neighbor Arkansas in March.

Three bills are pending in the Texas Legislature to repeal the Sunday sales ban, according to Szyndrowski.  House Bill 863, sponsored by Rep. Roland Gutierrez, would lift the statewide ban on Sunday spirits sales.  Senate Bill 557 and House Bill 815, sponsored by Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa and Rep. Veronica Gonzales respectively, would allow package stores in the 14 Texas counties bordering Mexico to open seven days a week to compete with Mexican retail outlets and Texas Duty Free shops.

Approximately 50 package stores along the border have formed a coalition to support repealing the ban on Sunday liquor sales.