College students, rejoice! D.C. Council moves to allow Sunday liquor sales

Moar of dis

The District of Columbia is slated to leave the dwindling number of states still outlawing off-premises Sunday liquor sales. This Tuesday, the D.C. Council initially approved a measure that would completely revamp the district’s alcohol laws and allow class A retailers—the city’s liquor stores—to open on Sundays.

The District’s old, largely anachronistic blue laws are among the last in the region to be scrapped: Virginia abandoned its restriction earlier this year and Montgomery County, Md. lifted its ban in 2010. Of course, intoxicating liquors have long been permitted in bars on Sunday and grocery stores already sell beer and wine every day of the week.

D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) floated the proposal earlier this year as an alternative to Mayor Vincent Gray‘s proposal to extend bar hours as late as 4 a.m. for most bars. The bill is projected to raise $710,000 in sales tax for the District government. The ban has remained on the books so long, in part, because certain neighborhood groups oppose any legislation that would increase the amount of drunken loitering outside of corner liquor stores.

Puzzlingly enough, the most vocal opposition to Sunday liquor sales have been the store owners themselves. Coalitions of liquor store owners have testified that any additional revenue from Sunday sales would be negligible compared to the increased costs of upkeep, and, in fact, they enjoy their day off. Although, of course, owners would be allowed to close up shop on their own, they fear that competition with other stores would force them to stay open on Sunday.

The date for implementation of the bill has not yet been set, although it will be sometime early next year. Only thing to do, Hoyas, is fill up your growlers and wait. The fine men over at Dixie Liquor will be certain to open their doors on Sunday once the provision goes into effect. “This store’s open. We’re open Christmas Day. We’re open Thanksgiving Day. We’re not going to close unless we’re forced to,” owner of Dixie Liquor Sean Clark said. “This is Dixie fuckin’ Liquor.”

Photo: Bryan Costin via Flickr

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