WASHINGTON, D.C. – The South Carolina House Judiciary Committee yesterday voted to send a bill that would end an archaic ban on statewide election day liquor sales to the full House for a vote—a move the Distilled Spirits Council hailed as a step in the right direction towards modernizing the state’s liquor laws.

“The idea that package stores should be closed on Election Day is an antiquated concept from a different era,” said Council Vice President Jay Hibbard, whose organization strongly supported the measure.  “Repealing this archaic law is a step towards modernizing the spirits market in South Carolina, which ultimately will bring adult consumers added convenience and the state added revenue.”

House Bill 3827, sponsored by Representative G. Murrell Smith, would delete the prohibition on the sale of alcoholic liquors on statewide election days.  The bill is expected to be voted on by the full House on Thursday, May 17th.  If passed by the full Legislature, the bill will take effect immediately upon approval by Governor Mark Sanford.

“Voting is no longer conducted in taverns and dram shops,” Hibbard said.  “The time has come to stand up for small business in South Carolina and roll back this long-outdated concept of banning Election Day spirits sales.”

Hibbard pointed out that of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, only nine states, including South Carolina, continue to place Election Day restrictions on package store operating hours.