Indiana governor signs bill to allow Sunday alcohol sales

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Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb made history Wednesday by signing a new law that will legalize the carryout sale of alcohol on Sundays. | Sun-Times file photo

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb made history Wednesday by signing a new law that will legalize the carryout sale of alcohol on Sundays.

For decades, efforts to overturn the law foundered among bickering by interest groups — most notably liquor store owners, who stood to lose business to big-box retailers on a major shopping day.

But that opposition evaporated this year. Starting Sunday, March 4, Hoosiers will be able to buy carryout alcohol between noon and 8 p.m. at liquor stores, convenience stores, pharmacies and big-box retailers across the state.

“There is absolutely no need, any longer, to make a run for the border,” Holcomb said, referring to the time-honored tradition, for those living near Indiana’s borders, of crossing state lines to buy alcohol on a Sunday. “Today is a big day … it’s all about the consumer.”

Indiana has restricted Sunday alcohol sales since becoming a state in 1816. Some Sunday sales were allowed for travelers during the 1800s, but that practice was banned in the 1850s.

Indiana is becoming the 41st state to allow Sunday liquor sales, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

So will the governor exercise the new right this Sunday? Holcomb hinted yes, noting a cookout is planned at the governor’s residence, while suggesting he aims to buy “Hoosier-themed” libations.

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