BUSINESS

Councilmember Jim Graham proposes lifting ban on Sunday liquor sales in D.C.

Comment
Decrease Increase Text size

The District could soon lift its ban on Sunday alcohol sales.

In the city's budget debate, Councilmember Jim Graham is looking at ending the ban as an alternative to Mayor Vincent Gray's proposal to extend bar hours.

Currently, customers can buy beer and wine on Sundays at grocery stores and other specially licensed shops.

But buying a bottle of booze at the local liquor store is a no-go.

These Sunday sales bans are often called "blue laws"... meaning they're designed to enforce religious standards.

Graham says D.C.'s law dates back to prohibition.

Gray wants to increase sales tax revenue by extending bar hours as late as 4 a.m.

But concerned about potentially more noise, crime and drunk drivers, Graham is proposing another option.

He believes allowing liquor stores to do business on Sundays would bring in $700,000 in additional tax revenue.

"I mean there was a time when bars were not open on Sundays there was a time when beer and wine stores were not open on Sundays," Graham says. "I think what we're looking for is the lesser of evils. And I think the extension of the hours until 4 a.m. is an hour more for all of the adverse spillover effects to occur."

And you might be surprised by the responses of the liquor store owners.

Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.

Recommended For You
comments powered by Disqus