Prohibition may have ended on December 5, 1933 but the spider web of distilled spirits laws have kept producers and sellers of alcohol tangled up ever since. In 2004 the state of Ohio approved a bill to allow Sunday sales of distilled spirits sales in liquor stores located in communities where voters have already passed Sunday sales for bars and restaurants. This was a step in the right direction but created a patchwork of rules to follow in various communities.
43 other states permit Sunday sales of distilled spirits. Since 2002, 21 states have passed laws permitting Sunday sales including Ohio’s neighboring states of Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia. In 2019 alone, Virginia and West Virginia both enacted legislation to permit alcohol sales or expand Sunday hours of sale on a statewide basis.
Ohio House Approves Sunday Sales
To simplify things in the state of Ohio the House recently passed HB 674 legislation to allow Sunday sales of distilled spirits products on a statewide basis while allowing localities to opt-out via local election.
“Allowing Sunday sales across Ohio will increase consumer convenience and provide additional choice for shoppers,” said Distilled Spirits Council of the United States – DISCUS Vice President of State Government Relations David Wojnar. “Expanding Sunday sales will also provide a significant boost in state and local business revenues. The Senate should act quickly to pass this bill to support Ohio consumers and businesses.”
Other States That Added Sunday Sales Have Seen 7% to 20% Sales Increase
“States that have implemented Sunday sales have seen an immediate boost to state tax revenues,” Wojnar added. “For example, Pennsylvania’s sales went up 10 percent since Sunday sales went into effect and the former chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board called Sunday sales a ‘grand slam home run.’ Oregon sales increased between 9.2 and 19.6 percent, and Delaware saw a 7 and 10 percent increase in sales after enacting Sunday sales.”
The bill still needs to be approved by the Senate and then Gov. Mike DeWine.
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