Sunday Morning Liquor Sales Not Law Yet

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

It's a law that's been on the books since prohibition: no selling liquor before noon on Sundays. Rich McCarius of Tom's Party Store in Okemos knows it well.

"It's hard," he says. "We have to make them wait until noon to make the purchase. They're looking at the clock and they've got two minutes to go, and they're still waiting, thinking 'Are you kidding me?'"

But that's all supposed to be changing soon. New legislation that would allow establishments to start selling liquor at 7 a.m. Sundays, and on Christmas, is long overdue, says McCarius.

"It's the 21st century now," he says. "It's time to move on and be more modern."

But while the bill may be on Governor Granholm's desk, she's not ready to sign it.

"There's still some technical issues," she says.

The Governor says she does support opening up sales hours on Sundays; the $160 permits would mean additional revenue for the state. But the bill itself has ballooned, with so many components, that she's evaluating it carefully.

"If I do veto it, it'd only be to come back and correct some of the problems," says the Governor.

Lance Binoniemi of the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association urges the Governor to sign the bill.

"Our members have always seen a customer base that would like to purchase alcohol before noon on Sunday," he says.

As for McCarius, he's not sure the $160 annual permit to sell on Sunday mornings is worth the extra hours of work.

"I haven't made a decision yet, but I'm leaning towards not buying a license," McCarius says, but he supports others having the right to do so if they want.

The Governor has two weeks to sign the bill from the day it hits her desk. MADD says it's supportive of anything that stays within the legal limits of drinking, no matter what time of day it is.


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