Washington, D.C., July 21, 2003 – Rhode Island consumers got an early holiday present this year under a new law permitting Sunday liquor sales during the December holiday season, said the Distilled Spirits Council. The measure, which was passed by the state legislature on July 2 and became law late last week, will allow distilled spirits, beer and wine to be sold on Sundays from December 7 to December 21. Currently, spirits are only allowed for sale on the Sunday before Christmas and New Year’s Day if those holidays fall on a Monday. “This new law will bring greater convenience to busy consumers who want to pick-up a bottle of spirits as a gift or for a holiday party,” said David Wojnar, Distilled Spirits Council Eastern Region Vice President who testified in support of the legislation. Wojnar pointed out the many Rhode Island retailers are losing holiday sales — and the state is losing much needed revenue — to neighboring Massachusetts that permits statewide Sunday liquor sales during the holidays and year-round Sunday sales for retailers within 10 miles of the New Hampshire border. More and more states are re-examining the rationale behind outdated Sunday sales prohibitions. In addition to Rhode Island, in the past 18 months, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Oregon have passed legislation allowing Sunday sales of liquor, bringing the number of states that permit Sunday liquor sales to 27. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is the national trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., the Council is led by Dr. Peter H. Cressy, the former Chancellor of UMass Dartmouth.