Do All Grocery Stores Sell Liquor?
Many people enjoy a good cocktail. Unfortunately, it is not generally accepted or legal to have liquor sold in grocery stores. Many people wonder why they can’t buy liquor in a grocery store. You may be one of them. You may have asked yourself severally, Do All Grocery Stores Sell Liquor?
Are There Laws That Prohibit The Selling Of Liquor In Grocery Stores?
Before 1933, there was very little liberty related to the sale of alcohol in different states. However, 1933 saw all states allowed to have their regulations in relation to alcoholic drinks.
This saw the enactment of various laws from different states. In the US, it is fortunate that many grocery stores sell liquor.
Each county within the states may have a different set of laws, and it is always good to check up with your county.
Laws that focus on alcohol sales in grocery stores are not the same in diverse states and counties. The restrictions may range from the number of licenses allowed to the allowed maximum alcohol content.
They are also restricted on the types of alcohol that they can sell. In the near future, we can expect ease of such restrictions as many states are open for discussions on how to ease these laws.
For instance, Kansas City now allows alcohol content of 6% from the previous 3.2% after Oklahoma allowed the sale of liquor in grocery stores.
As of now, there are ranging battles between legislators and grocery stores to force the states to allow sale of liquor in grocery stores.
Is Beer And Wine Subjected To The Same Set Of Laws?
Beer and wine do not suffer from the same regulations that bedevil the sale of liquor. Indeed, you will find that you can buy beer and wine from grocery stores in almost all states.
However, this is not the case when it comes to the sale of liquor. You will not be able to buy liquor from all grocery stores like wine or beer.
Some of the regulations will only allow you to have your liquor on Sundays, while others limit the liberty to Sunday afternoon.
In Florida, for instance, you can buy liquor in any grocery store without any time restriction, while in Nebraska, you can only purchase liquor in the afternoon.
There is a lot of confusion and frustrations related to the purchase of liquor. Many states have blue laws in effect.
What Are Blue Laws?
Why are they called blue laws?
There are different laws that are meant to curtail particular activities on Sundays. This is a religious-related restriction and is intended to ensure that people maintain a day of rest and worship.
It is not only the sale of liquor subjected to the Blue laws, but some sports like hunting are also affected. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise to have many states restrict the sale of liquor on Sundays.
The blue name laws originated from where they were originally written on as they were written on a blue paper. They also derived the name from the usage of the word Blue in the 18th century.
This word was used to refer to rigidity in morality in a disparaging sense. Therefore, the laws were meant to ensure that there was church attendance and strict observance of the Sabbath as a day of rest.
They were also meant to have people restricted in terms of movement so that there was enhanced religious observance.
In 1610, Virginia enacted the first blue law to enhance church attendance on Sunday. This law also prohibited any behavior that was considered unseemly on all Sundays.
Any person who was found to have drunk alcohol in a public place was subjected to severe penalties and hefty fines. Public displays of alcohol also attracted confinement. These laws evolved and restricted the sale of alcohol and tobacco.
Are Blue Laws Still In Force?
Blue laws are still with us today. Indeed, there are many states that still have them in full force today. However, in the United States, there are some of the blue laws that have been repealed.
Worth noting is the fact that the Supreme Court considers blue laws as constitutional. These are the laws that see mail carriers enjoy a day of rest, protect workers and guarantee a day of rest that comes in handy for religious reasons.
How Is The Situation Today?
In the states that prohibit the sale of liquor in grocery stores, grocers are engaged in battles to fight alcohol laws.
For instance, in Connecticut, Mississippi, and Maryland, grocers seek to undo the restrictions on the states. They are doing this with the help of their advocates.
The states that have lifted the ban of liquor in grocery stores have seen a surge in sales within a short time. For instance, When Oklahoma allowed the sale of liquor in grocery stores in 2018, liquor sales started to pour in immediately.
It was within a very short time that a double-digit increase was seen. Such a lift is expected in numerous states when the ban is lifted.
Do All Grocery Stores Sell Liquor?
Maryland has seen a crop of lawmakers pushing for a review on the legislation that would see grocery store owners sell liquor without any restriction.
In other places like Connecticut, several bills are being prepared to push for a review of the blue laws to allow liquor on grocery store shelves.
Although many people are agitating for a change in legislation, it may take longer to change laws. Indeed, it may take over two or three years to have legislation become law.
The agitation for a change in law may need to pass through a ballot to become law. In some states, it is needful to subject the issue to a referendum.
The path of the referendum is very challenging. Many grocers who would wish to sell liquor in their stores may need to wait a little bit longer. This comes as an inconvenience for you as a consumer.
Why Are Some People Opposed To The Lifting Of The Restrictions?
There is a rising opposition that wants the status quo. The owners of package stores claim that easing the restriction would open them up to the competition with grocers.
Such competition, they argue, would ultimately see mom-and-pop liquor stores closing. The possible impacts have been raised as an area of concern by legislators.
They argue that a wrong move may see a surge in underage drinking alcohol abuse.
Additionally, some legislators argue that a change in the legislation that would see the restrictions eased would act as an enticement to the grocers.
The argument is that if grocers are allowed to sell liquor, they may be tempted to open food deserts.
Are There Any Disadvantages Associated With Selling Liquor In Grocery Stores?
Alcohol has been seen as the number one risk factor leading to the death of adult males by W.H.O. According to W.H.O, there are serious risks that come with the sale of liquor in grocery stores.
Unlike what the proponents of the lifting of the ban would wish people to believe, having alcohol sold in grocery stores is not an easy matter. It is not like what the mainstream press reports propagates.
You cannot compare an issue of such a magnitude with a change in the way orange juice is distributed. Again, there has been very little effort to establish the effect of alcohol sales in grocery stores on society.
Although there may be some seemingly reasonable financial gains, it is important to also look at the increased costs that the availability of liquor in grocery stores poses.
Liquor, is a drug, is not merely a recreational aid as presented by many. As such, many people have been addicted to the same due to irresponsible intake.
This is not to say that it should be banned completely, but I am just showing you how it may become harmful if it falls into the wrong arms. If it is taken in extremely large quantities, it may become carcinogenic and mentally impairing.
Additionally, the Canadian Cancer Society describes liquor as a dangerous risk factor for colorectal, liver, larynx, oesophageal, and breast cancers. Taking high quantities of it triples chances of oral cancer development.
The Canadian Cancer Society further states that that the dangers of liquor do not stop there but continues to associate it with over 200 injury conditions and diseases.
Such injury conditions include murder, suicide, and car accidents. Is it not worrying to know that despite the world being in a state of grappling with AIDS, Ebola, and heart disease, liquor is still labeled as the leading risk factor for adult male deaths. This is the position of WHO.
Liquor cannot be classified as evil in society in a blanket manner. Indeed, from ancient times, it has been a lovely delicacy that has been used in many meals, family gatherings, romantic evenings, and joyful events.
However, it can be lethal even though it has been safely taken daily by many over the years, translating into decades. Consequently, it is not reasonable to expect that alcohol products will be prohibited.
Still, it is important to understand that there is a need to take a long critical look at how this multi-faceted substance is regulated and distributed.
One can scarcely deny the fact that liquor consumption dictates real financial costs to citizens around the globe. These financial costs emanating from liquor consumption are footed by taxes that are collected from the citizenry.
The above-mentioned 200 health conditions are paid for by our taxes. We also pay for all liquor-induced hospital stays. Every ambulance that responds to any liquor-related accident is paid for by our taxes.
Every chemotherapy treatment is funded by our taxes. Again, every police breathalyzer test gets its funding from taxes and all domestic violence relating to liquor intake and addiction.
According to the WHO, it has been proven over time that the frequency of such problems increases with the availability of liquor.
This is to say that when liquor becomes more available, the related problems are bound to increase. This means that if grocery stores are allowed to sell liquor, it will become more available, and the problems related to it will increase in frequency.
Let’s forget human misery for a moment. Indeed, the price tag for the expenses (legal, medical, and other social expenses) is far beyond what income any government gets from its sales.
There are counties that report that underage drinking is problematic in privately owned establishments. This is because they are quite lax in their Identity (I.D) checks of customers who look youthful.
Grocery stores present a real risk to this since they are privately owned. If the sale of liquor in grocery stores is to succeed, there is a need for proper police oversight over the activities of such establishments.
Unfortunately, such moves are likely to be resisted by the grocery owners themselves. Additionally, this will comes as an additional cost that will have to be passed on to the customers to ensure that the establishments stay afloat in making a profit.
Therefore, there is a need to have a proper assessment of the long-term economic effect of allowing liquor to be sold in all grocery stores.
It is extremely important to ensure that all the stakeholders are taken aboard when discussing the long-term effect of opening up grocery stores to sell liquor.
This must be a well-balanced discussion that should consider all the financial and cost implications from both sides.
Our politicians should be keen to look into these issues since they are at the core of our economy. If the same are carefully addressed, there will be many benefits to each one of us.
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