The Logic Behind Michigan Liquor Laws.

I’m sure Michigan is typical of the nation when it comes to liquor laws. And I will start there, because it is my home. And maybe it is just me. But some of the laws regarding the sale of alcohol just don’t make any sense.

I know you are not allowed to sell alcohol at gas stations. Then one day, I happened upon a gas station just by chance. And they were selling liquor there! I asked the owner about it. And he said they were now allowed to sell if they were within a certain distance from the pumps. Now, in Mich., you are not allowed to drink in public anyways. So it is not like you would be drinking it at the gas station to begin with. You take it home and drink it. So why should it matter how close the sales are to the gas pumps?

And you are not allowed to buy alcohol after 2 am (in liquor stores or bars). But as one comedian once observed, you can just as drunk between 1 and 2 as you can after. And again, for the liquor stores, you would just bring it home and drink it later anyways. And even stranger, you are not allowed to buy alcohol before Noon on Sunday. Again, why Noon? And why Sunday?

Someone please explain the logic behind these laws. I’m dying to know.


The “no alcohol purchase before noon on Sunday” law has been repealed/revised. Now a store needs a special license, or maybe a rider to their existing license, but they can sell alcohol before noon.

I’m sure the original rationale was church-related.

Many states have laws limiting the sale of alcohol on Sunday. These are called blue laws

I can’t help you, but I must admit that as a non-American, I’m baffled that America thinks it can lay any claim to being the ‘land of the free’ given the extent of restrictions that exist on the purchase and consumption of alcohol. It’s always seemed somewhat anomalous to me.

Why does it matter if there is a law preventing the sale of alcohol on Sunday morning ?
Who buys alcohol before lunch ANYWAY ?
Well I guess many have the dog shift and have an early lunch so they can look alive for the afternoon.

The ending of sales after 1am or 2am ,eg, reduces the craziness induced by the combination of lack of sleep and alcohol.
Also, when the mob can’t continue to spend money and engage in drinking competitions, they tend to go home.

These are broadly called “blue laws”, and they are essentially attempts to reinforce religious morals with legislation. You can’t buy alcohol on Sunday mornings because you’re supposed to be in church.

Legal closing time for bars and liquor stores could plausibly have a practical benefit. For example, there would be less disturbances or need for police between 2 AM and 8 AM. Sure people can still drink after 2 in their own home, but they won’t be bothering anyone (short of noise disturbances for their neighbors).

Connecticut had no-sales-on-Sunday laws until just about a year ago. What I found fascinating were the arguments in favor of keeping them… they made as little sense, or less, than arguments about keeping oppressive laws on blacks or gays, but people vehemently made and stood behind them.

The best argument was that it would force small liquor stores to open an extra day and thus cost them profits - big gummint being hard on the little businessman again, y’know.

Anyway, we now have 8-5 sales on Sunday and as nearly as I can tell, no one has gone out of business and Yahweh hasn’t smote us.

Virginia allows Sunday sales but prohibits the sale of alcohol between midnight and six a.m. every day. No idea why. Maybe they think that people who would be buying alcohol at that time are already drunk and looking to keep going, and this law will keep them from getting in the car to buy more after they’ve killed the first 12-pack.

As for the proximity-to-the-pumps thing, maybe that’s like it is with pilots: No smoking for 24 hours before a flight, and no drinking within 100 feet of the plane.

Forgetful people who are throwing picnics?

Non-church-goers who find Sunday morning a pleasant time to do the week’s grocery shopping?

Any number of people buy alcohol Sunday morning. I know if I was forced to go to church I’d sure pick up a pint before services!

A better question is why should the state say when I can or can’t buy a legal substance? Just because you don’t want to buy liquour before lunch doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to. That’s not how freedom works.

I think most states do have “off hours,” and yes, I think it is a reasonable attempt to get people to sober up and go home.

At least most states don’t allow drive-through liquor stores. (Yee-haw, Texas!)

Seriously, there, Mr. Libertarian?

Maybe because it’s the state that has to come along and scrape up the mess when your legal substance is abused. Gives them some say, even if it’s not entirely successful.

Oregon liquor sales is completely socialized. It is illegal to sell a bottle of booze, anytime, any where, by any one except the State Government. If the local store manager closes for the day at 5 every afternoon, you may have to drive 100 miles to the next community to buy a bottle.

Restaurants can have bars where you can buy individual drinks, but they have to prove 50% revenue in food sales, or they shut down the bar. Beer and Wine sales are more consistent with the rest of the nation; gas stations, grocery stores and taverns are allowed off site sales.

Washington State just recently repealed their socialize liquor sales, but it looks like marijuana will be legal in Oregon before we repeal our socialized liquor sales.

What, exactly, do you think “socialized” means?

A number of states also have government-only liquor stores. There’s a lot of ways to describe those, but “socialized” isn’t one of them.

Used to have those in Ann Arbor. I’m not sure if the law banning them now is statewide or a local City ordinance.

Alcohol can be abused no matter when it is purchased. At any rate, I seriously doubt alcohol sales before noon on Sunday are causing all manner of Sunday afternoon drunk driving accidents.

Yes, I would seriously like you to explain how limiting alcohol sales on Sundays before noon serves the public good and why are sales limited only on Sunday mornings and not other days of the week. I seriously am asking for a fact based defense of this policy.

And for the record, I’m a liberal Democrat.

You want some strange alcohol rules?

There’s a stretch of road in my town that has a minimum of fifteen places in the span of maybe two miles (bars/stores/liquor stores/convenience stores) where liquor is bought and sold on Sunday. No three of them have the same hours. Some are ok by 10 AM Sunday. Some are ok only after noon on Sunday. Some are anytime after 8 AM on Sunday. Some are only after 11 AM on Sunday. Some are after 9 AM on Sunday.

This is because this area at one point belonged to four or five different entities who issued liquor licenses (villages, townships, counties) - as the area grew and became annexed by my town, the liquor licenses were grandfathered in. So you could have two establishments within 2 blocks that have two different times on Sunday that allow alcohol sales. It can get confusing. Especially when there are two places on opposite sides of town that are the same name and owner but have different hours.

The words “Liquor Laws” and “Logic” do not belong in the same sentence, except to show how one has none of the other.

In NJ they tightly restrict liquor licenses, by town, and make them transferable. In my town, the licenses go for over $700,000, if you can find someone willing to part with theirs. Most restaurants are BYOB.

Ha. I ran into a guy from Texas in one of our Ontario liquor stores a couple of months back. Although you can buy small packages of beer in the liquor stores, you can’t buy a 24 case. So he had just visited the beer store, and was now in the liquor store, and had to drive to a third location to buy pop (soda). He was not amused.

Sunday sales of alcohol (after 12:00 noon) only became available to us about 17 years ago, I believe. Prior to that you couldn’t purchase alcohol on Sundays at all. And about 10 years prior to that, you couldn’t even drink in a bar on Sundays. You could order a drink with a meal, and that was it.

From Wikipedia: “Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy, as well as a political theory and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system. “Social ownership” may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, citizen ownership of equity, or any combination of these.”

{Emphasis mine}

The State goes to Beam Inc. and buys 1000 cases of Jim Beam whiskey. The State transports these cases to a State owned warehouse. When the State Agent requests two cases for the State owned retail store, these are shipped to them. The State sets the price, which the State Agent charges. It is a crime to buy or sell a bottle of whiskey in any other fashion.

What would you call this?

People going out on their boat for the day, who forgot to stock up.:frowning: