Washington, DC – Legislation expanding Sunday spirits sales to cities with populations of 100,000 or more passed the Virginia Senate today—a move the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) hailed as a significant victory for both consumers and the State Treasury.

“Sunday sales in Virginia has proven to be a major success,” said DISCUS Vice President David Wojnar, who pointed to a recent economic analysis showing the Commonwealth 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. “Allowing more stores to open will no doubt benefit time-pressed consumers and add additional revenue to Virginia’s coffers.”

House Bill 908, sponsored by Delegate Tom Gear, passed the full Senate by a vote of 22-17, and will now go to the Governor’s desk.  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.

Wojnar noted that Virginia is one of 12 states since 2002 that has modernized its liquor laws by passing legislation allowing Sunday sales—bringing the total number of states that currently allow Sunday spirits sales to thirty-four.

Wojnar pointed out 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.