Alcohol on a Sunday?! Love it or Hate it? Leave your comments.

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

AUSTIN, TX - For the first time since prohibition, Texas legislators may allow for alcohol to be sold on Sunday. The bill, House Bill 863, is sponsored by Representative Roland Gutierrez (San Antonio).

Distilled Spirits Council Chief Economist David Ozgo says that eliminating Texas's law that bans Sunday alcohol sales will generate much-needed revenue for the state and increase consumer convenience.

"These Prohibition-era Sunday sales bans no longer make sense in today's marketplace," said Ozgo. "In our modern economy where two-income families are the norm, Sunday has emerged as the second busiest shopping day of the week."

Ozgo said he has projected Sunday openings would generate between $93 and $115 million in new sales for package stores if enacted statewide.  From these new sales, the state would realize between $8.7 and $10.8 million in new tax revenues from increased sales and excise tax collections.

He cited a separate economic analysis of 12 states that began allowing Sunday sales between 2002 -2005, which showed Sunday sales generated $212 million in new sales in 2006, a 5-8 percent increase in new retail sales.

"Across the country, states are modernizing their liquor laws to boost state coffers and increase consumer convenience," said Ozgo, noting that since 2002, 14 states have passed legislation allowing Sunday sales of distilled spirits bringing the total to 36 states. "Earlier this month, Texas's neighbor Arkansas became the latest state to repeal its ban on Sunday sales by giving communities the right to vote on it."

Ozgo stressed that the legislation would not force package store owners to open, but rather provide them with more choices.

"Sunday sales simply give retailers economic flexibility," he said. "During these tough times, legislators should be supporting enterprising retailers who want to grow their business, not forcing them to turn away customers."

The Distilled Spirits Council also testified in support of House Bill 815, sponsored by Representative Veronica Gonzales (McAllen). HB 815 would allow package stores in the 14 Texas counties adjacent to the Mexico border to be open seven days a week.

The Distilled Spirits Council is the national trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the United States.