Greg Morris’ [June 4] commentary calling for further deregulation of Indiana’s alcohol laws is simply reckless and uninformed, as we have one of the most deregulated alcohol markets. We are in a minority of states that allow big-box retailers with pharmacies such as Walmart, Target, etc., to sell hard liquor (spirits). As for Sunday alcohol sales, 32 states put restrictions on Sunday sales, including 12 states that do not allow the sale of any spirits on Sunday. Some states only allow Sunday sales in package stores or by local referendum.
Morris mentions the package store’s monopoly on cold beer sales as one of the “dark ages” laws that should be changed. Limiting the sale of cold beer to package stores is Indiana’s legislative means to create a package store industry. Many other states have created package store industries by allowing spirits to be sold only in package stores or other types of legislative bases for survival.
So why the need to have a package store industry? Just a few years ago, Indiana ranked in the top five in lowest rates of alcohol-related fatalities. As Indiana has allowed for the expansion of liquor outlets, we have fallen, most recently to 11th. Package store clerks have to be 21, licensed and trained. Our customers have to be 21 to enter the premises. Our 1,000-plus stores statewide with over 5,000 employees are part of the reason why Indiana is so “relatively” safe when it comes to alcohol.
Crown Liquors co-owner