You Can Soon Buy Liquor in Arizona on Sunday Mornings May 9, 2010

You Can Soon Buy Liquor in Arizona on Sunday Mornings

Despite all the crazy laws Arizona’s governor Jan Brewer is putting into effect, she managed to get this one right.

Taking effect at the end of July, you’ll be able to purchase liquor on Sundays.

Gov. Jan Brewer on Thursday signed legislation which wipes away the last vestige of special Arizona laws that regulate when people can walk into a bar or restaurant on a Sunday and buy a drink. The law, which takes effect at the end of July, also means anyone who wants to pick up a six-pack of beer on the way home from church — or even on the way to services — can do so.

Current law in the state says you can’t buy booze on any day between 2:00 am and 6:00 am. But on Sundays, the ban is extended until 10:00 am.

Beginning Sunday, August 1st, though, you are allowed to purchase booze for those four extra hours on Sunday morning. (Frankly, I’m not sure what the argument is for having a restriction at all, but certainly Sunday should be no different than the other days.)

It took a Republican state senator to make this happen — and he makes sense, too:

[Republican Sen. Frank] Antenori said he doesn’t buy the argument that the rules should be different on what some people believe is the Lord’s Day.

“For a certain specific religion you can’t carve out a special exemption,’ he said. “I don’t think that’s right.’

He said if lawmakers want to protect church goers from being sidetracked by open bars on Sunday then they also would be obligated to put similar rules in place on Saturdays for Jews and Seventh Day Adventists. And Friday morning would be off limits because of Islam.

And Heinz said there is no reason to restrict those who have no day of worship at all.

Wow. Arizona Republicans got something right. I’m impressed.

(via Religion Clause)

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  • Liquor laws are weird- in MN, where I live, no liquor stores are open on Sundays and the few regular stores that sell alcohol are not allowed to sell booze on Sundays, but bars are. Recently I visited KY and TN- in KY, and if I recall correctly TN too, you can’t buy alcohol *anywhere* on Sundays- not even at the bars (most of which are closed, since their food sales aren’t worth staying open for). Also, I used to live in Maine awhile back, and I’m pretty sure the only places you could by alcohol on Sundays there were the bars- liquor stores and other venues weren’t allowed to sell it.

  • Jim H

    In NY, where I live, the curfew is from 4am to 8 am, except Sunday it’s until noon. That also applies to beer sales in supermarkets and the like–liquor stores are closed on Sunday…but I don’t go to liquor stores in NY, as across the bridge in NJ the taxes are so much lower. Not sure about curfews in NJ, though I know that at least one NJ county still makes ALL stores close on Sunday. Not my liquor store of choice, though.

    I used to live in Texas, which allows wine sales in supermarkets (NY does not). But one time, we wanted to buy some Marsala wine on a Sunday (to make Veal Marsala) and the store wouldn’t sell it to us, because the alcohol content is too high. We could have bought all the merlot and shiraz we wanted, but no marsala… FAIL!

  • Roxane

    I can’t tell you how many times I took wine to the check-out in Indiana on a Sunday, only to be politely reproved. Majorly annoying, especially if you’ve been invited to dinner at the last minute and would like to take a bottle for your hosts.

  • Richard Wade

    “For a certain specific religion you can’t carve out a special exemption,’ he said. “I don’t think that’s right.”

    Good for Antenori and Heinz. Now, if they could just see that the very same argument applies against Arizona’s idiotic religiously-based law banning same sex marriage.

    These religious intrusions into civil law are like rust and dust. While we clean them off one place, they collect on another place. It’s a constant struggle.

  • kilativ

    alcohol is not sold in Connecticut on sundays at all. How do you like this explanations?

    By the same token why not just close it 6 days a week?

    what an idiot

  • Sunioc

    That’s the one thing about Vegas I miss. I worked graveyard for the last couple years I lived there, and if, on my day off, I decided I wanted to go out to the bar for a drink at 4am, I could do so. Then I could stop by the 24 hour grocery store an hour later, pick up a bottle of jack, and drink it openly on the walk home if I so chose. Everything else about the town sucked though.

  • TruFru

    Interestingly, I’ve heard some mom-n-pop liquor stores (yes, they do exist!) say that it’s a way for them to take a day’s break and not worry losing sales to the corporate run liquor stores. Whatever reason you give, Sunday liquor sales law sound very silly!

    Another interesting thing is some states ban the Sunday sales of automobiles.

  • Epistaxis

    I figure the Catholic Church must be behind these laws. They want a monopoly.

  • Chris in NV

    I feel for those people that live in states that have ridiculous laws saying when you can and can not do certain things (aside from the malicious and violent). My home state (Nevada) has no such restrictions on alcohol, and I have survived quite well and happy to the age of 31 without ever being struck down when buying beer at 4am which I do regularly as I don’t get out of work until 3-3:30am normally.

    I am very pleased that AZ is taking baby steps in the right direction, though some of those baby steps aren’t always well thought out prior to enactment.

  • Miko

    Just make sure you have your immigration papers on your person when your buying it.

  • Arkansas doesn’t allow liquor sales on Sunday at all, either. But I think I’d rather have liquor laws than Arizona’s immigration laws . . .

  • JD

    Bans on Sunday sales are probably the last vestige of teetotalers. And yes, laws shouldn’t be kept for one demographic without consideration for other demographics. If someone is against buying alcohol on Sunday, that’s fine, they don’t have to buy it, that’s no excuse to restrict the freedom of other people.

  • rbray18

    in Oklahoma you can’t buy alcohol between 2 am and 6 am liquor stores are closed after 9 pm and closed on Sundays.and you can only buy beer and wine coolers in stores and our beer is only 3.2

  • muggle

    Jim, have you followed the heated debates re: proposed legislation here in NY to allow supermarkets to carry wine? It’s ridiculous. The liquor stores, with a few exceptions, are fighting it tooth and nail because they’re so afraid of the frigging competition. Meanwhile, I’m dragging my crippled ass to a rally today against the governor furloughing us State workers due to the economy going into the toilet.

  • Muggle: Coming from a state where you can buy hard liquor at a Wal-mart and yet the local party stores do just fine, I just find the whole debate bizarre and surreal.

    Oh, and Patterson is a dick.

  • Jim H

    Muggle, best of luck to you and co-workers; I’m afraid you’re going to need it.

    And, yes, I have been following that debate; I didn’t want what I wrote above to be a dissertation. 😉

    Mike: Paterson has been a d*ck in so many ways (pressured a woman to drop a harassment suit against his aide), yet seems so enlightened in so many others (he pushed through an order recognizing marriage equality on other states and lobbied hard for it in NY). I can’t figure him out…

  • JSug

    Here in WA, grocery and convenience stores can only sell wine and beer, but as far as I know there are no restrictions on when they can sell it. “Spirits” are another matter, though. All the liquor stores are state-run, and most of them are closed on Sundays. A few have limited hours. It used to be mandated that they close on Sundays, but a few years ago the law was modified. Basically, now they can be open if they want, but the employees cannot be required to work on any day they consider a sabbath. That seems like a pretty fair compromise, though it’s still difficult to buy hard liquor on a Sunday. Personally, I wish they’d just get rid of the state-run stores and sell it in grocery stores.

  • As 10plus says, liquor laws are wacky. Don’t get me started about some of the odd laws we have here in Utah, which is one of the main reasons I travel to Nevada on a regular basis.

    Good for Arizona to finally make this one happen.

  • Heinrich

    wow – my first reaction was to check the posting date. And I am still not sure it was not April 1.


  • Edmond

    Man, spread this AROUND! I’m SO tired of ALL the laws designed to honor some “omnipotent” god that needed to REST.

  • muggle

    Jim, he’s nuts. And I give him no credit for the gay marraige thing. He mainly used it as cover to distract other b.s. like his intimidating that woman, kind of like he’s using state workers as a scape goat for the state budget when screwing us over won’t even come close to balancing the budget it’s such a small percentage of it. As of last night, looks like I’ll be working part-time for 8 weeks. 🙁 This affects my pension too so screws me forever not just temporarily. Good thing I can’t be alone in a room with him this morning. Me and 99,999 other state employees.

    That’s the ridiculous of the arguments against wine in grocery stores. The liquor stores still do well in states that allow this. Even if they didn’t, it’s called free enterprise. If you go into business for yourself, you’d better be prepared to compete and compete against some mighty stiff competition. To their credit, a few liquor stores did take a stand for passing it and saying things like let people go to grocery stores for cheap wine; they’ll still come to us for quality. Well, they worded it more diplomatically but you know — and they’re right.

    Equally absurd — the claims that it’s gonna increase drinking and driving. Right — because having to drive to a liquor store is gonna make you that much more a responsible drinker?

  • I just find the whole debate bizarre and surreal.

    Bizarre and surreal is right! I live in California, and as far as I know, we don’t have any laws like that here. I don’t drink alcohol, so I have no particular reason to frequent liquor stores, but they seem to have the same hours as any other business. Supermarkets definitely sell wine and beer, and I’m fairly sure they sell hard liquor, too. These blue laws seem like something out of the 19th century to me.

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