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Bill would allow Sunday liquor sales

Posted March 10, 2011

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— Supporters of North Carolina's blue laws could soon be blue themselves if state lawmakers approve a bill allowing liquor sales on Sundays.

Senate Bill 277 would allow Alcoholic Beverage Control stores to open on Sundays unless local ABC boards decide against the move.

"It would be up to the independent ABC system to decide whether they do or do not want to be open," said Sen. Clark Jenkins, D-Edgecombe, who is sponsoring the bill. "There are some of the bigger cities in the state that would like to have that opportunity."

ABC stores have been closed on Sundays since the state-run liquor system was created more than 70 years ago.

With the state facing a projected $2.4 billion deficit for the 2011-12 fiscal year, Jenkins said, the option of generating ABC revenue an extra day each week needs to be considered.

"I think it's something we ought to have some conversation about," he said, but he didn't provide an estimate of how much liquor he thought would be sold on Sundays.

Graham County is the only county in North Carolina that prohibits alcohol sales, and there are a number of towns across the state that likewise don't allow liquor sales.

ABC store sign, Alcoholic Beverage Control Bill would allow Sunday liquor sales

Voters in the Wayne County town of Pikeville, for example, chose as recently as two years ago to remain dry.

Opinions in Pikeville about whether liquor should be sold on Sunday elsewhere are mixed.

"It's not going to bother me one way or the other," Andrew Smith said. "My opinion would be, here, in the town of Pikeville, no, because it's a dead place on Sunday."

"I don't agree with it because I don't drink alcohol, and I feel like Sunday is the Lord's day," Jessica Grady said.

The Christian Action League of North Carolina strongly opposes the bill, and members say they will lobby fiercely to prevent it. They argue that  public safety and health risks of alcohol consumption greatly outweigh any financial benefit.

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  • raysson Mar 11, 2011

    Why does the North Carolina Legislature want to open ABC Stores in North Carolina eight days a week,including Sundays?

    So they can kill themselves and others on the road. Wanna know?

    See the alcoholics banging on the door of the liquor store before it opens on Monday mornings..the hard core ones who are desperate for a drink early in the morning,and tells others that they don't have a serious problem? Like really you do!!!!
    If you want to drink an entire bottle of booze and get mad with someone over your addiction? It's nobody else fault,do did this yourself! Self destruction,heading for self destruction!

  • Vietnam Vet Mar 11, 2011

    "They argue that public safety and health risks of alcohol consumption greatly outweigh any financial benefit."

    Ok, so I can buy a truckload of bourbon Saturday but y'all are going to save me by not letting me buy on Sunday??? You've got to be kidding!! You're only penalizing or "saving" those that fail to plan ahead... As has been already posted, and I agree, religion or the observance of religion should absolutely have no bearing on any law including this one. Where is everybody hollering about separation of church and state over this issue?? (Which by the way would be a bogus arguement anyway.)

  • raysson Mar 11, 2011

    On Sundays...the ABC stores are automatically closed.

    In Retail Stores...On Sundays,you cannot purchase beer or wine before 12:00pm...This is North Carolina State Law.

  • rhsrnc Mar 11, 2011

    Laws should not be based on any one religious belief.

  • CarolinaGirlRJA Mar 11, 2011

    ncsuecu -- it's after 12pm, not 1 pm. :)

  • 1trhl Mar 11, 2011

    A friend of mine managed a liquor store. He told me that you could tell who the hard core alcohlics were by the people who were always waiting on the stores to open on Monday mornings. Having the store closed one day a week could serve as a constant reminder: "yes, you do have a problem, you need help."

  • Vietnam Vet Mar 11, 2011

    Oh goodie!! We get an extra day to buy liquor, but we're keeping the outdated and corrupt state run liquor stores and their overpaid boards! Way to go legislature!

  • Bill Brasky Mar 11, 2011

    Was it last year that July 4th fell on a Sunday? That was a major inconvenience. That goodness beer could be sold at 12:00 but in nearly ruined my beach trip.

  • ncsuecu Mar 11, 2011

    This is ridiculous. Why are legislators even involved in this..Do they have to fill their cabinets before Monday afternoon meetings?? You can already buy beer and wine at stores after 1 pm. Isn't that enough!

  • CarolinaGirlRJA Mar 11, 2011

    htomc42 -- LOL, I have some but I don't think the moderator will let me post them.

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