Washington, DC – The Virginia House of Delegates passed legislation on Friday, February 8th expanding Sunday spirits sales in any city with a population of 100,000 or more, according to the Distilled Spirits Council.

“Virginia’s Sunday sales program has been a win-win for both consumers and the Commonwealth,” said Council Vice President David Wojnar, who pointed to a recent economic analysis showing Virginia gained $8.7 million in new retailer revenue from Sunday sales in 2006 alone, which translated into an additional $860,000 in new tax revenue for the state. “In today’s economy it is important for state government to identify innovative ways to raise revenue without raising taxes.  Expanding Sunday sales will bring added convenience to even more Virginians while also contributing additional funds to the State Treasury.”

House Bill 908, sponsored by Delegate Tom Gear, passed the full House by a vote of 62-37 and now moves to the Senate for consideration.  The bill expands current law allowing the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (VABC) Board to open ABC stores on Sunday in any city with a population of 100,000 or more, including Portsmouth, Hampton, Newport News, Richmond and Chesapeake.  Since 2004, the VABC Board has allowed state stores to open in the counties of Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun, and Prince William, and in the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax City, Manassas, Manassas Park, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach.

Virginia is one of 12 states since 2002 that has modernized its liquor laws by passing legislation allowing Sunday sales.  Thirty-four states across the country currently allow Sunday spirits sales.

Wojnar noted that the majority of today’s modern households are comprised of dual-income workers who want the flexibility to shop on Sunday, now the second busiest shopping day of the week.