West Virginia

West Virginia (Finally) On the Brink of Legalizing Sunday Sales


For the past several years, the West Virginia legislature has attempted to legalize Sunday liquor sales but has been unable to get the reform across the finish line. This year, a bill allowing Sunday sales to start at 1pm has now passed the state legislature and is headed to the governor’s desk:

The West Virginia House of Delegates voted 86-12 to pass legislation Tuesday night that would allow Sunday retail sales of liquor in in the state, excluding Christmas Day and Easter Sunday…

If House Bill 2481 becomes law, Sunday retail sales of liquor would be allowed beginning at 1 p.m., but the current prohibition of retail sales on Christmas Day would remain in effect.

In passing the bill on Tuesday, the House of Delegates accepted a Senate amendment to the house bill to prohibit Easter Sunday sales…

Read the rest here.

W.V. Legislature Again Considers Sunday Sales


For the last several years , West Virginia has considered proposals to allow Sunday liquor sales—an idea which has proven somewhat controversial in the state. The state legislature is once again considering reform this year, and WV Metro News reports that legislation has passed the state House by large margins and now heads to the Senate:

The House of Delegates has passed a bill that would allow the sale of liquor on Sundays.

Currently, liquor cannot be sold on Sunday in West Virginia.

“This bill seeks to change that by putting liquor sales on equal footing with beer sales,” said Delegate Moore Capito, R-Kanawha, the vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

That means liquor could be sold from 1 p.m. to midnight on Sundays…

Read more here.

States such as Indiana and Minnesota have also overturned their blue laws in recent years.

West Virginia Considers Allowing Sunday Sales for Distilled Spirits


The West Virginia legislature is considering a bill that would, among other reforms, allow Sunday sales of distilled spirits in the Mountain State. The Herald Mail Media reports that the bill would allow statewide hard spirit sales on Sundays after 10 a.m. as well as Sunday sales at distilleries:

Counties and home-rule municipalities currently can decide whether to allow restaurants and other licensed establishments to begin Sunday alcohol sales, but an alcohol administration official said the lack of uniformity across the state has created a "logistical nightmare."

Thirteen counties, including Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties, and 18 home-rule municipalities, including Martinsburg, Charles Town, Ranson and Shepherdstown, allow Sunday sales.

Among other changes, the bill proposes allowing Sunday retail sales of liquor at a distillery or mini-distillery on Sundays at 10 a.m., a change area distillery owners wanted.

It appears that beer wholesalers and The Family Policy Council of West Virginia are both opposing this reform by ginning up scary hypothetical headlines such as: "Drunk Driver Kills a Bunch of Kids Coming Out of Church After Sunday School." Given that Sunday sales of beer and wine are already permissible in West Virginia, this line of argument is less than persuasive. In an age when a glass of a high-ABV craft beer can contain as much or more alcohol as a shot of liquor, it is irrational to draw arbitrary distinctions between different kinds of alcoholic beverages.

The reality is that 40 states currently allow Sunday sales of hard spirits and more are following suit. Minnesota repealed its Sunday sales ban last year, and Indiana overturned its version of a blue law just this week. The trend here is toward more freedom, and West Virginians are right to not want to be left behind. 




When the State Gives Lemons

The magazine Beverage Master has a nice rundown of liquor regulations and restrictions in various states around the country:

"With the passing of the 21st amendment, the prohibition of alcohol in the United States was officially repealed. Each state was given the power to regulate and control the distribution of alcohol within their borders. Today, every state handles the sales of alcohol a little differently, including setting limitations on what craft distilleries can do in their gift shops and tasting rooms. Some states are more “craft friendly” than others by allowing sampling, cocktail and bottle sales, direct distribution, paid tours, and other profitable options. However, every state imposes some restrictions. When the state imposes restrictions, how can distillers work within the laws to increase their bottom line?.."

Read the state-by-state summaries here: http://beverage-master.com/article/when-the-state-gives-lemons/