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10:05 a.m. - September 08, 2006
If It's Sunday, You Are SOL
A few of my loyal readers commented in amazement that I could by vodka at CVS.

Yeppers, itís true, kids. Here in Indiana you can buy beer, wine and liquor at drug stores. So while you get your medication, you can also get some booze to help you forget your troubles for real.

That doesnít mean that Indiana has sensible liquor laws. Oh, no. That would be too practical.

I know some states have some idiotic laws. I think they finally changed that South Carolina law where you couldnít pour a mixed drink from a big bottle - you had to use one of those tiny bottles that you get on airplanes.

Liz said that for the longest time in Kansas, you couldnít get alcohol at a restaurant. You had to join an Ďeating clubí and there, and only there, could you drink and eat dinner at the same time. Some of those clubs still exist, even after the change in law. My late father-in-law took me to his once when I had to be in Wichita on business.

In Pennsylvania, you have to go to a state run store, if Iím not mistaken, to buy things. I think itís kind of like Ontario, where you have to go to the beer store for beer.

There are some counties in the South that are dry as a bone, but that is just an inconvenience, really.

Of course, thereís Utah, which is all sorts of messed up when it comes to booze. But they have an excuse, of course. We donít in Indiana.

For the longest time here, you couldnít have the bar visible to children in a restaurant. Thatís why for years the bar area was always behind a door, and you really couldnít have an Applebeeís or a TGI Friday type setting without some serious alterations. Thankfully, they changed that so the bar area can be visible, but it needs to be separated from the restaurant in some fashion. No biggie.

You canít buy any alcohol on Sunday from a store. All the liquor stores are closed, and every other store that can sell beer or wine (like grocery stores and drug stores) canít sell to you on Sunday. Which is idiotic, I think.

A couple of times, my best friend and I had to make banzai runs to Danville, Illinois, so we could get some beers for the football games on Sunday.

(By the way, you canít buy a car in Indiana on Sundays, either. Go figure.)

In order for a bar to be open on Sunday, it has to do a Ďsignificantí food business as well. That means more than packages of corn nuts and popcorn. And of course, there is no carryout on Sundays.

You can only buy cold beer and chilled wine at a liquor store. You canít buy anything cold at a convenience store, or grocery store. Thanks to the powerful liquor store lobby, thatís never going to change. Itís not going to become Tennessee, where you can buy bait, ammo and cold beer at one stop!

And Iím not kidding about the liquor store lobby. In fact, all the lobbyists in Indiana wield great power. Well, all of them except the ones fighting for truth and justice and things to really HELP people.

In fact, some of the county liquor boards really have their panties in a wad. They get to approve all applications for liquor licenses, and in my county, they denied the application of a rural convenience store to sell warm beer. The reasoning is that the commissioners on the board donít think Ďgas and beer mixí. Well, no. You donít mix ANYTHING with beer, in my opinion. It ruins the taste!

The owners of the store protested and appealed to the state. There WAS precedence for stores that sell gas to also sell beer. They cited the Super Wal-Mart, the Krogerís and another convenience store. Also, this is a rural area, they said, and the neighbors and patrons of the store had no objection at all to beer being sold there.

The liquor board responded, lamely, that the Kroger and the Wal-Mart had gas AWAY from the actual store, and that the other convenience store Ďwas approved in error.í

The state board told the county to STFU, and approved the license.

Basically, what really rubs me is that you canít buy a bottle of wine on Sunday at the grocery store. I have no idea what the reasoning is. If itís to stop people from betting blasted on the Sabbath, then what it does is for a lot of people to go out on Saturday night at 11:30, probably half tanked, to go stock up for Sunday.

But theyíre not always concerned about alcohol excess in their laws, because in Indiana, a bar has to close by 3, but it can re-open at 7. But they banned happy hours where you get free drinks. You can have a nightly drink special, but no 2-for-1 or anything like that.

Anyway, thatís the story of Indianaís laws. I seriously doubt anything will change, but I can only hope. And I can only remember to get the wine on Saturday for Sunday dinner.


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