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Sunday liquor laws to affect the holidays

December 22, 2006|From the Associated Press

MARIETTA, GA. — With both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve falling on a Sunday this year, revelers in many states will have to stock up a day early if they want to celebrate at home by raising a glass of champagne or some well-aged Scotch.

Many states still have "blue laws" that restrict the sale of alcohol on Sunday at liquor stores and supermarkets.

Georgia, Connecticut and Indiana ban the Sunday sale of any alcohol for off-premises consumption.

Other states, such as Minnesota, Oklahoma and Utah, permit the sale of only weaker, low-alcohol beer on Sundays.

"It's a total pain," said 54-year-old Kent Brooks of Alpharetta, a suburb of Atlanta. "I hate being told what I can and can't do by the government. They should keep their nose out of my happy-hour habits."

Beer, wine and liquor store owners complain that Sunday restrictions are hurting sales on what is typically their busiest day of the year, New Year's Eve. Christmas Eve is often a close second.

In some places, the Sunday liquor laws have been loosened for the holidays. In Omaha, the City Council voted to allow stores to begin selling beer and wine as early as 6 a.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Normally, the stores there do not open until noon.

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