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Seven States Still Force Prohibition-era Bans on Election Day Alcohol Sales

October 30, 2008 08:00 PM

Not even a cocktail in Indiana, Kentucky and South Carolina!

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On November 4th, voters in seven states will be able to choose a president but not a bottle according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).  Seventy-five years after the Repeal of Prohibition, archaic Election Day alcohol sales bans continue to inconvenience consumers and hurt small businesses in a handful of states across the country.      

The only states that still cling to statewide Election Day sales bans of alcohol at restaurants, bars and package stores are Kentucky, Indiana and South Carolina.  Utah and West Virginia still ban the sale of alcohol at package stores on Election Day.  Alaska and Massachusetts also ban Election Day alcohol sales, except that local governments are authorized to provide an exemption from the ban. 

“The Election Day sales ban is a ridiculous relic of the Prohibition era when saloons sometimes served as polling stations,” said DISCUS Vice President David Wojnar, whose organization has aggressively supported rolling back Blue Laws in states across the country.  “Repealing the 1930’s ban on Election Day alcohol sales would provide adult consumers with much-needed convenience – whether they’re celebrating election returns or mourning them.”

Three More States Repealed Bans in 2008

Wojnar pointed out that Delaware, Idaho and Utah all relaxed Election Day sales bans earlier this year – the latest in a nationwide trend of states modernizing their alcohol laws.  Utah, which still bans package store sales on Election Day, now allows Election Day sales at restaurants and private clubs.   

“Blue Laws make absolutely no sense in a modern economy,” Wojnar said.  “If legislators want to boost tourism and help small businesses in the state they need to start by repealing these silly Prohibition-era restrictions.”

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