The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-03-2008, 12:01 PM
jtgain jtgain is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
No beer before noon on Sundays..

I went to Winn Dixie this morning as we are having some friends over later. I checked out at 11:52 a.m. and was told that Florida law prohibits alcohol sales before noon on Sundays and that I would have to wait.

The clerk was very nice. Actually rang up the beer and I paid, but waited the eight minutes before being allowed to hold the beer and take it out the door.

But it got me wondering, how in the world do these laws survive constitutional muster? In a day and time where students can't pray before football games and the Pledge of Allegiance and the Ten Commandments being challenged, what rational basis could the state have for curtailing booze sales on Sunday mornings?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 08-03-2008, 12:13 PM
SSG Schwartz SSG Schwartz is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
It's Constitutional apparently. In the town I live in you can't buy beer at all on Sundays. Or Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays for that matter. Granting of licenses and the conditions of the alcohol license are apparently up to the granter of the license.

SSG Schwartz
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-03-2008, 12:19 PM
askeptic askeptic is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtgain
I went to Winn Dixie this morning as we are having some friends over later. I checked out at 11:52 a.m. and was told that Florida law prohibits alcohol sales before noon on Sundays and that I would have to wait.

The clerk was very nice. Actually rang up the beer and I paid, but waited the eight minutes before being allowed to hold the beer and take it out the door.

But it got me wondering, how in the world do these laws survive constitutional muster? In a day and time where students can't pray before football games and the Pledge of Allegiance and the Ten Commandments being challenged, what rational basis could the state have for curtailing booze sales on Sunday mornings?
What constitution are you reading? I see no mention of a right to sell beer on sunday...or at all for that matter. In fact liquor was absolutely prohibited for a while. Many jurisdictions are dry in that they prohibit alcohol sales every day of the week. Prohibiting it on Sunday is not that uncommon.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-03-2008, 12:26 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 48,348
Quote:
Originally Posted by askeptic
What constitution are you reading? I see no mention of a right to sell beer on sunday...or at all for that matter. In fact liquor was absolutely prohibited for a while. Many jurisdictions are dry in that they prohibit alcohol sales every day of the week. Prohibiting it on Sunday is not that uncommon.
I can't speak for jtgain of course, but I'm guessing he is implying that alcohol bans such as the one in the OP are religion-based. i.e., Christians go to church on Sundays, usually in the morning. Beer is not allowed to be sold during 'church hours'. Thus, the ban appears to be an imposition of Christian religion upon people who may or may not be Christian. As the establishment of religion is banned by the First Amendment, and this seems to be a law founded in religion, then it violates the Establishment prohibition.

The 18th Amendment arguably could be said to be the imposition of the mores of one religion on the entire populace; but it could also bee seen as a public health and safety issue.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-03-2008, 12:28 PM
jtgain jtgain is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSG Schwartz
It's Constitutional apparently. In the town I live in you can't buy beer at all on Sundays. Or Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays for that matter. Granting of licenses and the conditions of the alcohol license are apparently up to the granter of the license.

SSG Schwartz

Well, I can understand outlawing booze , but ONLY on Sunday mornings? What possible reason could there be for that other than a religious one?

I mean, why not Wednesday afternoon from noon to six for no booze?

ETA...or what the guy above me said

Last edited by jtgain; 08-03-2008 at 12:28 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-03-2008, 12:28 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
While such "Blue Laws" may have had a (questionable) religious rationale to begin with, they're now just institutionalized regulations. Unless you can make some kind of First Amendment challenge ("I address the Justices to note that my religious believe requires the consumption of mead on Sunday mornings to appease the Invisible Pink Unicorn/Great Cthulhu/Bob Who Art In Heaven...") the Constitution--which curiously neglects to say anything in regard to the production or consumption of alcoholic beverages and spirits--doesn't enter into it except as regulated via the Interstate Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution). The Federal government did once ifamously try to impose regulation and taxation on distilled spirits with less-than-stellar results (the Whiskey Rebellion), albeit establishing Federal authority as the ultimate arbitrator of law and order in the United States, but the Supreme Court, Congress, and the BATFE don't really care what states do locally as long as the Feds get their cut of the taxes.

Stranger
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-03-2008, 12:37 PM
ivylass ivylass is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
You have to address the issue with the city council and make them realize it's an important enough issue to discuss and vote on. I also find it odd that I can enter a grocery store at 11:45am, shop for 14 minutes, and if I just spend an extra minute browsing the bakery aisle before hitting the register they can ring up the wine in my cart. But if I get to the register at 11:58a...no can do.

Silly, when you think about it, but until someone makes a fuss...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-03-2008, 12:38 PM
askeptic askeptic is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A.
I can't speak for jtgain of course, but I'm guessing he is implying that alcohol bans such as the one in the OP are religion-based. i.e., Christians go to church on Sundays, usually in the morning. Beer is not allowed to be sold during 'church hours'. Thus, the ban appears to be an imposition of Christian religion upon people who may or may not be Christian. As the establishment of religion is banned by the First Amendment, and this seems to be a law founded in religion, then it violates the Establishment prohibition.

The 18th Amendment arguably could be said to be the imposition of the mores of one religion on the entire populace; but it could also bee seen as a public health and safety issue.

Back in the seventies people tried to claim that things like LSD and peyote were required by their religion. The SCOTUS never had a problem with laws prohibiting them. Hell ,Rastafarianism includes pot but you don't see Rasta's with get out of jail free cards.

If someone was dumb enough to write a law that says "Out of respect for christian values, the sale of alcohol is prohibited on Sunday" they might have a problem. But the Courts are reluctant to look behind facially neutral statutes. "No alcohol on X Day" is facially neutral and you have to make assumptions to tie it to religious values. I have no doubt that it is tied to religious values but the courts traditionally do not base decisions on assumptions about the motivation. This would be different if a facially neutral statute had a discriminatory effect on a protected class. Neither beer drinkers nor beer sellers are a protected class.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-03-2008, 12:49 PM
jtgain jtgain is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by askeptic
Back in the seventies people tried to claim that things like LSD and peyote were required by their religion. The SCOTUS never had a problem with laws prohibiting them. Hell ,Rastafarianism includes pot but you don't see Rasta's with get out of jail free cards.

If someone was dumb enough to write a law that says "Out of respect for christian values, the sale of alcohol is prohibited on Sunday" they might have a problem. But the Courts are reluctant to look behind facially neutral statutes. "No alcohol on X Day" is facially neutral and you have to make assumptions to tie it to religious values. I have no doubt that it is tied to religious values but the courts traditionally do not base decisions on assumptions about the motivation. This would be different if a facially neutral statute had a discriminatory effect on a protected class. Neither beer drinkers nor beer sellers are a protected class.
I'm usually socially conservative. I think religion is generally a good thing for society. In fact, I think prayer in school could serve a positive influence. But I'm not arguing for these things. I could argue a rational basis for all of these.

What I am talking about is these particular types of laws which, for the life of me, I couldn't think of a non-religious reason for.

Laws against LSD, marijuana, or even total prohibition of alcohol could be said to be for other public good. But to only prohibit alcohol sales on Sunday morning, when Christians go to church, can be secularly justified...how?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-03-2008, 01:08 PM
askeptic askeptic is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtgain
I'm usually socially conservative. I think religion is generally a good thing for society. In fact, I think prayer in school could serve a positive influence. But I'm not arguing for these things. I could argue a rational basis for all of these.

What I am talking about is these particular types of laws which, for the life of me, I couldn't think of a non-religious reason for.

Laws against LSD, marijuana, or even total prohibition of alcohol could be said to be for other public good. But to only prohibit alcohol sales on Sunday morning, when Christians go to church, can be secularly justified...how?

See Braunfield v. Brown 366 U.S. 599 (1961) and McGowan v. Maryland 366 U.S. 420. Not that I agree with the reasoning but it is the reasoning used. The state absolutely can regulate alcohol sale, just because you (correctly) assume that sunday laws are based on religious values does not invalidate the laws as they apply to all people neutrally if a law said only christians were prohibited it would be a different story. The state has the power to regulate and no constitutionally protected interest is being violated.

Last edited by askeptic; 08-03-2008 at 01:13 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-03-2008, 01:34 PM
jtgain jtgain is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by askeptic
See Braunfield v. Brown 366 U.S. 599 (1961) and McGowan v. Maryland 366 U.S. 420. Not that I agree with the reasoning but it is the reasoning used. The state absolutely can regulate alcohol sale, just because you (correctly) assume that sunday laws are based on religious values does not invalidate the laws as they apply to all people neutrally if a law said only christians were prohibited it would be a different story. The state has the power to regulate and no constitutionally protected interest is being violated.
McGowan...did you read Earl Warren's reasoning? What a bunch of absolute fucking garbage. If he had written that about sodomy, abortion, or anything else like that he would have been written off. He takes the best part of the "Sunday closed" and compares it to the worst part of "Sunday open" in every comparison.

Does anyone here think it is a legitimate state interest to sell tobacco on Sunday but not three ring binders? Or for one county in the state to be allowed to sell things but not others?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-03-2008, 08:01 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by askeptic
See Braunfield v. Brown 366 U.S. 599 (1961) and McGowan v. Maryland does not invalidate the laws as they apply to all people neutrally if a law said only christians were prohibited it would be a different story. .

This no booze sunday morning business has bothered me forever..even back when I drank ZERO...

So the law is okay because the christian/religious majority has passed a law the prevents EVERYONE from doing what THEY don't want to do (supposedly)...thats some twisted logic if you ask me...

My beef is half principled...half pragmatic....

IMHO laws should do at least one of two things....

one...protect some constitutional right or some basic principle....for example a pro abortion law OR an anti abortion law can at least in theory be based on the fundamental principle of right to life OR the fundament principle of the right to control ones own body....

or two...for the "GOOD" of society (assuming it doesnt drastically violate a fundament right)...like building codes say...

But if its reason two, then the law should have one and preferably two points to it....some LOGICAL reason for it in the first place....and hopefully some darn real world evidence that it accomplishes the task of societal good....

So, whats the basis for no booze on Sunday? to cause folks to lay off the booze after a Sat night bing?....well lots of folks bing on Friday nights as well....show me evidence that Sunday mornings are significantly more of a problem than Saturday mornings then I'll buy it....

Or make it no booze on Sat mornings, Sunday mornings , holiday mornings....heck go whole hog and make it available only between noon and 9 pm anyday for reasons of social good...and I could "believe" in that...

Shoot, I'll even support the idea of a dry county or state or nation if thats what floats their boat and they think its a net good for society...

But this Sunday morning thing is just uptight religious folks uncomfortable with idea that heathens are out buying booze while they endure the latest sermon from the mount...

It has always amazed me that the Supreme court has let this fly as long as it has..

And while I ranting...its a three times retarded law...it isnt for any social good....it pushes one persons religious belief on others...and it doesnt even work well....the professional boozers stock up Sunday morning....it only catches folks like our beach tourists here who get caught unawares by this absurd law as they are buying picnic supplies for their day at the beach...

It seems to me to be almost an American right to question a law that you don't like and impacts you in some measurable way...and if the powers that be can't come up with something other reason than "just because"...toss the law...

Now dont get me wrong..I am not that "anti religious"....prayer in school, ten commandments in the court house....pledges, oaths, nativity scenes....I can live with these things...but this? grrrrrr

Bill Fish
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-03-2008, 08:13 PM
Revtim Revtim is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
jtgain, I could have sworn those alcohol blue laws were recently repealed in this area. Maybe that was Broward county and not Palm Beach? Or is it a city-based thing, and it was repealed in Boca Raton and not Delray? I could have sworn I saw signs in a Boca supermarket about being allowed to sell beer and wine Sunday mornings.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-03-2008, 08:26 PM
jtgain jtgain is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revtim
jtgain, I could have sworn those alcohol blue laws were recently repealed in this area. Maybe that was Broward county and not Palm Beach? Or is it a city-based thing, and it was repealed in Boca Raton and not Delray? I could have sworn I saw signs in a Boca supermarket about being allowed to sell beer and wine Sunday mornings.
This was Winn Dixie in western Delray Beach. I'm not sure if it is located in the city limits or is under the jurisdiction of Palm Beach County.

It is rare that I have a drink or have people over for a gathering, so I don't believe that I have had occassion to purchase booze before noon on Sunday in recent years (before today). My experience in my younger days at the beach in South Carolina was no beer ALL DAY Sunday which required some foresight on Saturday night.

All I know is that the cashier rang up the beer and pointed to the 11:52 time on the register and said that she was very sorry, but that I would have to wait 8 minutes before walking out the door with the beer.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-03-2008, 08:35 PM
jtgain jtgain is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by billfish678
And while I ranting...its a three times retarded law...it isnt for any social good....it pushes one persons religious belief on others...and it doesnt even work well....the professional boozers stock up Sunday morning....it only catches folks like our beach tourists here who get caught unawares by this absurd law as they are buying picnic supplies for their day at the beach...
This is what I object to about the law. There is no rational basis for it. Can anyone possibly think of a secular reason for the law?

I know that Warren talked about a secular day of rest in the above cited case, but this doesn't even apply here. These cashiers are still working in the grocery store ringing up food and soft drinks. It takes as much energy to ring up a beer purchase as it does a food purchase.

And it obviously isn't about drinking on Sunday morning because there is nothing prohibiting anyone from buying twice the amount on Saturday night and drinking all morning Sunday.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-03-2008, 09:49 PM
wolfman wolfman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Colorado has a no sunday sales of anything above 3.2% law. I talked to a few of the corner store type owners and they love the law. They universally say they would fight like hell to stop it from changing. And making a few asumptions since so many of them are Indian, Korean, and Arabic the Sabbath has nothing to do with it. They are family owned, and pretty much either the Husband or wife was to be on site every open hour, because of employee theft, or finable negligence. They figure most people who drink just learn to prepare, so they sell 7 days worth in 6 days. So they finally get a day off. And as long as everybody is closed, they don't lose any business. Now as far a grocery stores, and super-warehouse stores that are open all the time anyway, I'm not sure why they havn't tried to change it, but I have never heard of any effort. I guess they are happy enough will selling 6 days and just decided its not worth the hassle to try.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-03-2008, 10:16 PM
Lakai Lakai is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Posts: 4,609
New York laws are just as retarded. No sales from 12 am to 12 pm, and from 9 pm to midnight on Sundays.

Nothing non-alcoholic can be sold except water and alcohol accessories (e.g. shakers and bottle openers.)

You can sell mixers with 1% alcohol in them, but you can't sell beer.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-03-2008, 10:35 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: 地球
Posts: 21,840
I'm glad you posted this.

I just found out this was the law in Michigan last Sunday. I went to a local store to buy some beer and was told, "No, it's not noon yet."

I'm 30 and I have never heard this. To be fair, I never have tried to buy alcohol on Sunday morning before; it was just the time I was available this time.

I didn't get it. I asked the clerk and she said, "It's always been this way."

Do any other countries have this?
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08-03-2008, 11:35 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Nasty Nati
Posts: 14,811
Blue laws are incredibly stupid and shortsighted, a remnant of Prohibition thinking, a way for local governments to try to rule our lives.
Take the *fine* state of Indiana where I live as a perfect example.

Not only can you not buy beer on a Sunday before noon, you can't buy it AT ALL on a Sunday. The kicker is that you CAN buy it at a bar, or liquour if you prefer, provided that the bar sells a certain percentage of food against it's liquor sales in order to obtain a "Sunday License" (read: tax revenue).

It's complete bullshit. So, I can drive my ass to a bar on a Sunday and get fucking shitfaced, then drive home, risking a DUI, but I can't buy beer from a retail store on Sunday and drink it at home, where getting shitfaced is a far safer option. Thanks Indiana!

Furthermore, in Indiana, the beer sold in grocery stores is WARM. I suppose the geniuses that passed this law thought that someone that was desperate enough to get their drink on wouldn't drink warm beer. And this is every day of the week!

If you want cold beer in Indiana, you have to buy it from a liquor store, where (you guessed it!) beer is FAR more expensive than the warm shit you can buy from a grocery store.

I'm sure grocery store owners are thankful for the reduced costs associated with selling warm beer ("Just stack it in a pile over there") as opposed to refrigerating it, but...c'mon!

These laws make ZERO sense. So I live in a dry county, but you make me needlessly drive to county X to stock up on booze. Sweet!

And what about states like Kentucky, where, like the OP states, you can't buy beer until noon on a Sunday?

Well shitfire boys, not only can you not buy beer until noon, you also cannot buy wine or liquour in Kentucky on a Sunday! Because everyone knows that this law is preventing people from getting drunk on a Sunday becasue it limits their options!


This is indeed a leftover religious bullshit law that needs repealing across the country. How hypocritical is it that I cannot buy beer on a Sunday in Indiana, warm as it is, chill it and drink it at home, but yet I can DRIVE (you know, that DUI thingie) to a bar and do as many shots of whatever liquour I please and then DRIVE home?

Makes sense to me.

It's bullshit. Thank God I live just across the state line between Ohio and Indiana where conveniently placed drive thrus on the Ohio side will sell me my drugs on a Sunday.

As we all know, drive-thrus are just the thing for the drunk on the go.

Last edited by FoieGrasIsEvil; 08-03-2008 at 11:36 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 08-04-2008, 05:52 AM
Audrey Levins Audrey Levins is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Texas has similar blue laws.

No beer or wine sales before noon on Sundays.

No liquor stores are open on Sundays by law.

And if you go to a bar on Sundays you can't drink til noon unless you order food.

Liquor stores must close by 9 p.m. every day.

Beer and wine sales outside of bars must cease at midnight every day.

I find it all a bit bizarre, but since I bartend, I kinda like not having to work til twelve noon on Sundays.

I think it would be hard to rally enough people together to get these laws changed.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 08-04-2008, 08:23 AM
Caprese Caprese is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman
Colorado has a no sunday sales of anything above 3.2% law. I talked to a few of the corner store type owners and they love the law. They universally say they would fight like hell to stop it from changing. And making a few asumptions since so many of them are Indian, Korean, and Arabic the Sabbath has nothing to do with it. They are family owned, and pretty much either the Husband or wife was to be on site every open hour, because of employee theft, or finable negligence. They figure most people who drink just learn to prepare, so they sell 7 days worth in 6 days. So they finally get a day off. And as long as everybody is closed, they don't lose any business. Now as far a grocery stores, and super-warehouse stores that are open all the time anyway, I'm not sure why they havn't tried to change it, but I have never heard of any effort. I guess they are happy enough will selling 6 days and just decided its not worth the hassle to try.
As of July 1, you may now buy booze on a Sunday in Colorado. It's great for consumers, but I know not everyone wanted this law to pass. I have a Denver friend who owns a mom-and-pop wine shop and I know she wasn't thrilled about having to be open on a Sunday. And maybe she won't be.
link
When I lived in Gulf County, Florida, no booze at all could be purchased on a Sunday.
Where I am now, in Nassau County near Jacksonville, I can buy a bottle of wine with my groceries at 10am.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 08-04-2008, 08:42 AM
Sigmagirl Sigmagirl is offline
Go Tribe!
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Western Reserve
Posts: 8,171
In some of our stores, they cover the alcohol with tarps until legal sellin' time on Sundays. Just so you won't be tempted.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 08-04-2008, 09:02 AM
Santo Rugger Santo Rugger is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Just as bad and equally annoying is not being able to launch until after 7:00 AM because the marina can't start selling booze before then.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 08-04-2008, 09:20 AM
Pithy Moniker Pithy Moniker is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
We have the no alcohol before noon here too. I was getting some beer for a party once on Sunday and got to register at 11:50AM. The cashier explained that their registers wouldn't even ring it up until after noon so I had to wait around 10 minutes. I believe most politicians fear the potential backlash of trying to get them repealed.

Still, the law makes no sense. Presumably, the law is for Christians who should have their asses in church on Sunday morning anyway. I've actually suggested only half-jokingly that the law is in place to make sure there's some booze left at the stores when they get finished with their worship services.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 08-04-2008, 09:28 AM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Chicago-ish, IL
Posts: 9,236
When I was in grad school in Bloomington, Indiana, in addition to no alcohol sales on Sundays, there were no alcohol sales on Election Day. (I'm guessing this was to discourage overzealous campaign workers from buying votes with beer.)

Of course, as Bloomington is a college town, they are pretty hardcore about checking IDs. I've been carded in a supermarket there (at age 26) while attempting to buy a 6-pack of IBC root beer, which is sold in brown glass bottles. I had to call it to the cashier's attention that root beer is, in fact, nonalcoholic.

Last edited by Eva Luna; 08-04-2008 at 09:28 AM.. Reason: fixed typo
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 08-04-2008, 10:07 AM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,797
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtgain
...

Does anyone here think it is a legitimate state interest to sell tobacco on Sunday but not three ring binders? Or for one county in the state to be allowed to sell things but not others?
Or an even better example of blue laws having strange effects: my in-laws lived in Bergen County NJ for many years, and there are very restrictive blue laws there banning most retail sales on Sundays. Periodicals are exempt, so you can buy the Sunday newspaper. Also magazines.

Yes, you can buy Playboy, but not the Bible, on Sundays.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 08-04-2008, 11:24 AM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
hi

as folks have mentioned here...

how in the world can you NOT interpret the no booze before noon (or whatever) on Sunday only as religious based?

Like other have said....I'd sure like to hear a secular reason for it...

if it was everyday for social good....maybe....dry county for social good..maybe

and to me its way WORSE (in both a practical and philosophical way) than something like a nativity scene at the courthouse....if that rubs you the wrong way...look away, move on, get over it....

no booze on Sunday morning? that is ACTIVELY preventing me from doing something that is legal at any other time...

And the shop keepers who like it so they can be closed...if the law is repealed, there is nothing to keep them from closing anyway...its only their "greedy" behinds that keep them open...heck find some Sunday heathens to work the joint.
And the ones that would grip most about it are the ones that push for free markets and fair market practices....


Blll
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 08-04-2008, 11:41 AM
askeptic askeptic is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Sheesh, our fearless leader is giving millions of our tax dollars to church groups under his faith based initiative and people are upset because they can't buy beer for a few hours on Sunday. I guess you have to hit the taxpayer where it hurts to get them riled up...
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 08-04-2008, 11:48 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
I remember getting screwed by MA blue laws on any number of occassions.

"This is going to be the best 4th of July BBQ ever!"
"Do you have beer?"
"No, we'll pick some up later."
"Well...you better get going if you want to make it to New Hampshire and back before the party."
"?"
"It's Sunday dude..."
"!!!!!"
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 08-04-2008, 11:51 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
FTR, jt, it isn't a state law - there's no statute on the books regarding sales of alcohol on specific days other than election days- but a widely enacted county (or municipal, if Delray is incorporated) provision.

Alcohol can be sold in Dade County more or less 24-7, but is restricted everywhere else.

And next time you're more than welcome to come over and borrow a case or two if you don't mind the drive
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 08-04-2008, 12:22 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Falls Church, Va.
Posts: 9,835
In Virginia, no beer or wine may be sold in stores between midnight and six a.m., any day.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 08-04-2008, 12:44 PM
accidentalyuppie accidentalyuppie is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
When I was in college in the late 1970's the stores could not sell anything not deemed to be a "necessity" on Sundays.

Beer was not a necessity. Cokes and Ho-Ho's were a necessity. Tampons and other female hygiene product were also not a necessity!!!!, although it was fun to argue that one with the clerks.

Once I was in line behind a woman with a small child. The child was sitting in the kiddie seat of the shopping cart with a can of Play-Doh in his hands, which Mom intended to buy for him. Of course, as Play-Doh is not a necessity the clerk had to take it from the child and reshelf it, which set the kid off screaming and crying. However, I reassured the clerk that the good lord would've sent her to hell if she let the kid have his Play-Doh.

Of course, this was in the day before bar code scanning so the clerks could ring it up if they really wanted to, (although they might have to fudge a code) so I felt perfectly justified in giving the checkout clerks a hard time.

One DID let me purchase a children's book about Jesus on a Sunday, but I had tried to purchase the book just for the thrill of having the checkout girl tell me I couldn't buy it.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 08-04-2008, 12:56 PM
divemaster divemaster is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Gainesville, VA
Posts: 3,034
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoieGrasIsEvil

So, I can drive my ass to a bar on a Sunday and get fucking shitfaced, then drive home, risking a DUI, but I can't buy beer from a retail store on Sunday and drink it at home, where getting shitfaced is a far safer option. Thanks Indiana!

Furthermore, in Indiana, the beer sold in grocery stores is WARM. I suppose the geniuses that passed this law thought that someone that was desperate enough to get their drink on wouldn't drink warm beer. And this is every day of the week!

...

How hypocritical is it that I cannot buy beer on a Sunday in Indiana, warm as it is, chill it and drink it at home, but yet I can DRIVE (you know, that DUI thingie) to a bar and do as many shots of whatever liquour I please and then DRIVE home?
I think blue laws are pretty much stupid and only having warm beer in the grocery stores is out-and-out retarded. However, your example here of what you can and can't do is misplaced, I think. It's no more legal for you to drive drunk than it is to buy beer on Sunday.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 08-04-2008, 01:05 PM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Chicago-ish, IL
Posts: 9,236
Quote:
Originally Posted by divemaster
It's no more legal for you to drive drunk than it is to buy beer on Sunday.
Even if it's not legal, in that situation it's still logistically feasible to drive drunk, but not to buy package goods. Stupid, no?
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 08-04-2008, 01:41 PM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
If I recall correctly, the courts have held that, while the blue laws were originally based in religious practice, they currently fulfill a secular purpose (day off for the stores, etc.). This is bullshit, of course.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 08-04-2008, 01:56 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrotherCadfael
If I recall correctly, the courts have held that, while the blue laws were originally based in religious practice, they currently fulfill a secular purpose (day off for the stores, etc.). This is bullshit, of course.
Courts have held that blue laws are okay if they fulfil a legitimate secular purpose, not because. A day off for stores is a reasonable, though specious, secular purpose. Keeping people from drinking on the Sabbath is not.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 08-04-2008, 04:18 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright
Courts have held that blue laws are okay if they fulfil a legitimate secular purpose, not because. A day off for stores is a reasonable, though specious, secular purpose. Keeping people from drinking on the Sabbath is not.

See

I think thats what really gets many peoples goat so to speak.

A day off for stores is about as bogus an argument as it gets (IMHO). If the store wants to be closed...it sure as heck CAN be if the owners want it.

If its an everyday restriction, or a dry county, or even maybe a weekend/holiday restriction (due to the night before or morning of bingers)...there is some secular/good of society logic to it.

And the give the businesses a day off business is bogus on at least two counts. Most places that sell the stuff sell OTHER stuff all Sunday morning anyway...and like I said before, nutin is keeping them from not selling the stuff or closing for whatever period of time THEY think is appropriate if they so choose...

I think that myself, like many others, are not even remotely convinced that this is and ONLY is a religious based law whose ONLY basis is religious. Or in other words NOT something like laws against murder or building codes that CAN be reached/defended on some other basis than religion.

Maybe some poster will convince us heathens yet....

take care

Blll
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 08-04-2008, 06:55 PM
Sine Nomine Sine Nomine is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
As a semi-humorous aside, I would like to insert my story of how blue laws actually interfered with my (Christian) religious practice.

One Sunday, when I was in high school, the church I attended had a number of small crises all in one morning. First, there was a huge flood in the men's bathroom, then the power went out. Since the kids' Sunday School classes met in the basement (without windows), we had to shuffle classes around and the teen Bible study had to leave its usual location. So my class that morning was five high schoolers and a youth minister huddled around a space heater in the senior pastor's office.

A few minutes into class, someone pulled the youth minister out of the room with a very serious look on her face. When he came back, he told us that, on top of everything else, the altar guild had misplaced a bottle of wine for Communion. (Of course, we immediately made cracks that we'd stolen it and had been passing it around when he wasn't looking.)

He told us that they'd actually been calculating how long it would take to drive to Wisconsin to get a bottle of wine! They eventually decided against it. I don't quite remember, but I think they ended up diluting the wine with the grape juice (we used both at Communion) to make it last. The youth minister recommended we sit towards the front if we were planning to go to Communion.

On topic, I really don't see the need for blue laws. How can something suddenly become harmful to buy one day (or half a day, etc.) of the week?
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 08-04-2008, 07:28 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 35,431
Frankly, if you can't get to Sunday noon without a beer, you're an alcoholic.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 08-04-2008, 07:28 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Sine that IS funny...thanks

Let me share a side of blue laws that isnt.

My sister in her very young adult years had a job a grocery store.

Some guy comes up to buy beer. He looks pretty old, but she cards him anyway. Yep he is about as old as he looks. Sells him the beer.

A bit later, the manager asks if she sold some beer. Yep, she did. Apparently it was a bit before the magical hour on Sunday. She was fired on the spot. Now, the end of that job probably didnt wreck her career train, but at the time she was pretty unsure/insecure, so that certainly didnt help matters any.

Ifffffff I remember correctly, no one had even TOLD her about this blue law retardation......

Hell, these days with how serious they take alchohol sales, she'd probably end up with a gawd awful fine or jail time...


Grrrrrr yet again


Blll
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 08-04-2008, 07:40 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck
Frankly, if you can't get to Sunday noon without a beer, you're an alcoholic.

You dont get it do you?

Its not about the noon part...or even getting the beer part....

Hell, the pro drinkers stock up on that stuff.

It the SUNDAY part of it.

Hows about we have a law where you can't buy pork during some Muslim/Jewish/"anti-pork" religions "holy time"...

And now one day you are having a cookout at your house and you are going to make your famous bacon double cheeseburgers.....opps no bacon and sales of it are illegal today!

Tough titties!

I guess you are just a pork addict then.....

Its a stupid, purely religious based law, which right there is enough to pissed about, which typically only impacts that folks that AREN"T the alchoholics/profession booze buyers

Blll
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 08-04-2008, 07:59 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by accidentalyuppie
When I was in college in the late 1970's the stores could not sell anything not deemed to be a "necessity" on Sundays.

Beer was not a necessity. Cokes and Ho-Ho's were a necessity. Tampons and other female hygiene product were also not a necessity!!!!, although it was fun to argue that one with the clerks.

Once I was in line behind a woman with a small child. The child was sitting in the kiddie seat of the shopping cart with a can of Play-Doh in his hands, which Mom intended to buy for him. Of course, as Play-Doh is not a necessity the clerk had to take it from the child and reshelf it, which set the kid off screaming and crying. However, I reassured the clerk that the good lord would've sent her to hell if she let the kid have his Play-Doh.

Of course, this was in the day before bar code scanning so the clerks could ring it up if they really wanted to, (although they might have to fudge a code) so I felt perfectly justified in giving the checkout clerks a hard time.

One DID let me purchase a children's book about Jesus on a Sunday, but I had tried to purchase the book just for the thrill of having the checkout girl tell me I couldn't buy it.

THATS FUNNY!

Maybe we should look at it this way?

What would Jesus buy? (on Sunday morning)

Beer? Of course not...but maybe a little distilled water for later you know

Cokes and Ho Ho's? Of course! Kinda like the whole loaves and fishes and prostitute things in the bible. Makes sense to me!

Tampon's and femine products? Don't be silly! This is a man's man type of saviour, not some new age hippy in a white rob and sandals shopping for the old lady!

Playdough? Hell no! Isnt the analogy to your soul and the devil's machinations blindingly obvious? Get thee behind me putty of bezeelbub!

A book about himself? Sure as shootin yes! Wouldnt you buy a book about yourself?

well, that should earn me a few years in a warm place


Blll
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 08-04-2008, 08:17 PM
chacoguy chacoguy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
What really gets me about the Christian bent to these laws is that Christ's first miracle was water into wine.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 08-04-2008, 08:59 PM
sinjin sinjin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by chacoguy420
What really gets me about the Christian bent to these laws is that Christ's first miracle was water into wine.
No, no, according to Biff he routinely brought lizards back to life as a child

Last edited by sinjin; 08-04-2008 at 09:00 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 08-04-2008, 11:21 PM
whiterabbit whiterabbit is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by accidentalyuppie
Tampons and other female hygiene product were also not a necessity!!!!, although it was fun to argue that one with the clerks.
Excuse me? I keep a stock on hand, but emergencies happen to us all, and those things are damn well a necessity.

In Louisiana the laws vary by county. It was a bit of a surprise to find when I moved to Shreveport that on Sunday the areas of the liquor stores with the Good Stuff (anything more than beer or wine) were physically roped off. Yet you could buy daquiris. Of course daquiris are the state drink of Louisiana, so we must have those every day, right?

The surprise was because in New Orleans, where I'd moved from after living there a couple of years, there are no blue laws. And as far as booze is concerned there don't seem to be very many laws at all. I heard an entirely believable story of a friend of a friend who was a NOLA native visiting New York and asking for her drink to go, which confused the hell out of the New York bartender.
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 08-04-2008, 11:37 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
Elephant Whisperer
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bangkok
Posts: 28,818
Bizarrely, stores over here cannot sell alcohol from 2-5pm. That's PM, not AM. The reasoning is that it will make it harder for schoolchildren returning home to get ahold of any booze, but this rule is enforced seven days a week! And the only outlets that do enforce it are the major supermarkets and convenience-store chains; the little mom-and-pop neighborhood shops ignore it completely.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 08-04-2008, 11:55 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck
Frankly, if you can't get to Sunday noon without a beer, you're an alcoholic.
And your point is?

Stranger
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 08-05-2008, 12:08 AM
usedtobe usedtobe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoieGrasIsEvil
...Take the *fine* state of Indiana where I live as a perfect example.

... The kicker is that you CAN buy it at a bar, or liquour if you prefer, provided that the bar sells a certain percentage of food against it's liquor sales in order to obtain a "Sunday License"...
FWIW - I lived in IN when the (OK for real restaurants) exception was debated/enacted. It was about attracting convention business to the new facility in Naptown - even the god-fearing hicks figured out that the godless conventioneers would avoid thier shiney new dump if they couldn't get a drink on Sundays - and they wanted the money more than they wanted feeling holier than the sinners.
Yea, and I moved from IN to FL - not good for a young beer-swilling atheist...
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 08-05-2008, 09:08 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck
Frankly, if you can't get to Sunday noon without a beer, you're an alcoholic.
"Can't" and "don't want" are slightly different things.

I could refrain from masturbating for the next six years if it was somehow made illegal (probably). It doesn't mean I wouldn't be a little cranky about it, or that the local, state, or Federal government has any business prohibiting it.

Anyway, an alcoholic would have planned ahead.
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 08-05-2008, 10:00 AM
TheLoadedDog TheLoadedDog is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright
Anyway, an alcoholic would have planned ahead.
Actually, the real rock bottom types often either don't or can't. Even under Australia's rather liberal laws, pubs are closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day. When I worked in one, we'd sell a huge amount of bottled alcohol for people to take home on the days before. There was no shortage of booze in the average person's house on the "holy day" (in fact, if they were holding a barbecue, there'd be a flood of the stuff). But when we were shut on the day itself, we still had some of the local alcoholic street people bashing on the door and pleading for a flagon of fortified wine to stave off the shakes.

Scared of the licencing police, but also feeling terribly for one particularly sad case, I ended up giving him a bottle. It was Christmas, after all.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.