Ever wondered why you can't buy alcoholic beverages on Sunday in Indiana? Well, so does everyone else.

Ask around, and you'll get variations on two different answers --

1. It's a holdover from Prohibition and Puritan morality laws that prevent us from enjoying the nectar of the gods on the day meant to honor some peope's god.

2. It would hurt the small mom and pop businesses, because only the big box stores would be open on Sunday and doing business.

Over the years, efforts to overturn the law have come and gone. This time, though, there might be some traction.

Hoosiers for Beverage Choices are launching a membership drive to attract more support for their campaign to change Indiana's liquor laws. So far, the group says more than 25,000 Hoosiers have signed their online petition for "common-sense changes to our antiquated alcoholic beverage laws."

From now through July 19th, over 1,000 retail locations throughout the state will promote the HBC effort to allow for Sunday carryout sales and cold beer sales at drug, grocery and convenience stores. Retailers will convey the HBC message to customers through in-store displays and advertisements. Customers will also have the opportunity to join the effort by signing a petition in these stores.

You can also sign it online here: www.beveragechoices.com

This campaign marks the first of many efforts the group has planned for the coming months to raise awareness of their agenda as they prepare for the upcoming legislative study committee on alcoholic beverage issues and the 2010 Session of the Indiana General Assembly.

"Because alcoholic beverage issues were not discussed during the 2009 legislative session, we want to remind our supporters of our effort and also attract new members," said Grant Monahan, spokesperson for Hoosiers for Beverage Choices. "More than 25,000 Hoosiers have joined our effort, and we know that we have only scratched the surface of the support that exists in Indiana for these changes."

Indiana is one of only 15 states that still prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sunday and is one of only three states that prohibits Sunday carryout sales yet allows for sales at restaurants, taverns and sporting events. Indiana is the only state in the country that discriminates against drug, grocery and convenience stores by allowing only one retail segment- package liquor stores- to sell cold beer.

This monopoly enjoyed by the liquor stores forces Indiana consumers to pay a "tax" for the privilege of purchasing cold beer. The results of an extensive statewide price survey conducted in over 300 communities and nearly 500 locations found that Indiana consumers pay an average surcharge of $1.07 per case for the privilege of purchasing cold beer.

"Bringing about common-sense changes to Indiana's outdated liquor laws will result in lower prices, more convenience, and more choices for Indiana consumers," stated Matt Norris, Director of Hoosiers for Beverage Choices. "The overwhelmingly positive response to the online petition demonstrates the broad support that exists in Indiana for these changes."

Retailers participating in the current membership campaign include:

Kroger

Marsh Supermarkets

Speedway SuperAmerica

Village Pantry

McClure

Gas America

Thorntons

SuperTest

Circle K

Circle A Convenience Stores

Huck's Convenience

Ricker's

Mac Food Marts

Freedom Express

Good to Go

Lassus Brothers

Jewel/Osco

Super Pantry

1 Stop Express

Fast Max

Hoosiers for Beverage Choices is a statewide, consumer-driven effort that supports the modernization of Indiana's alcoholic beverage laws to allow for convenience, real choices, and competitive prices while maintaining regulations and laws that prevent minors from purchasing alcohol. The effort is sponsored by Indiana retailers and their trade associations, including the Indiana Retail Council, the Indiana Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association, and the Indiana Petroleum Council.

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