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Speedway stores cited for beer sales on Christmas

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Indiana State Excise Police have cited 109 Speedway convenience stores, accusing them of illegally selling beer on Christmas.

Police spokesman Travis Thickstun said the agency began a month-long investigation when an officer received an anonymous tip that a Speedway store in South Bend had sold beer on Christmas.

While the officer was at that store, a clerk who worked at a different Speedway store on Christmas asked whether it was illegal to sell alcoholic beverages on Christmas because she also had sold alcohol at her store.

Thickstun said Indiana law prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages from 7 a.m. on Dec. 25 until 3 a.m. Dec. 26. He said Speedway's corporate office in Enon, Ohio, has cooperated with investigators.

The probe determined that Speedways throughout the state, including 18 in Indianapolis, violated the law. Speedway stores in Anderson, Fishers, Carmel, Greenfield, Greenwood, Elwood, Brownsburg, Bargersville, Franklin, Lebanon, Noblesville, New Palestine, Pendleton, Plainfield, Shelbyville also were cited.

According to the Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission, the potential penalty for any administrative-law violation of the state's Alcoholic Beverage Code could include a fine of up to $1,000; a suspension of the alcoholic beverage permit; or a combination of the two. Or, the state could revoke the violator's permit.

Speedway spokeswoman Angela Graves said the it is working with excise police to determine what happened.

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  • Agree with Pete
    A ridiculous old law it may be, but it's not fair that they sold alcohol while I couldn't have my bars open that night. In more progressive states like.......almost all of them, a lot of people like to go out for a drink on Christmas night to see old friends that are in town, or just possibly to get away from their family. There are more people than you even think that don't celebrate Christmas or didn't get to travel to see their family for some reason. They can't even go to their neighborhood pub because the state decided they should be stuck at home all day thinking about Jesus. Don't get on excise here, get on the state about the old blue laws. Stop letting religion dictate government.
  • Who was hurt?
    Jim, businesses that were closed and followed the law were hurt by the Speedway sales. If no one else is open and you know the Speedway down the street will serve you alcohol on Xmas, or a Sunday, etc. who benefits? So yes, others were potentailly hurt by Speedway not following the law.
  • Rats.
    We hosted dinner on Christmas Day and found ourselves short on beer and wine for guests. Wish I'd known Speedway was selling!
  • Day Off???
    jb, you are being a little silly. Are all stores closed on Xmas? I don't think so. Many are certainly, but not all. Should gas stations close on Xmas? You might need gas to travel on Xmas, right? Maybe we should check with you, jb, to see who you think should be allowed to open on Xmas and any other holiday. The law is the law and should be followed. I don't necessarily agree with the law, but I do follow it becasue I understand there are consequences if I do not.
  • Living in the Backwoods
    Indeed. The state again wastes money enforcing antiquated laws. What was the overall affect of the stores' collective actions? Was anyone injured or harmed by these sales? Time for Indiana to move into at least the 20th century.,
  • Silly me
    I thought the liquor stores were closed to give employees Christmas day off.
  • A Miracle
    Perhaps they just sold water and it turned to wine later that day.
  • Interesting
    As an owner of two liquor stores in Indiana it will be interesting to see how this is resolved. Speedway, based in OH, clearly has no concept of the laws governing the IN liquor industry. The conversation with Angela Graves from Speedway should be a short one. Your employees sold alcohol illegally and you/they should have known better. All liquor stores, such as mine, close on Xmas day because we can not legally sell alcohol. I personally think I should be able to have my store open any day I like, but that is not the current law in IN. The Speedways of the world are the ones lobbying hard for Sunday sales of spirits and the right to sell cold beer. If they can't follow the laws now why should we think they will follow the laws in the future. Do you think the folks in Enon, OH know that the legal drinking age is 21 in Indiana???
  • Holiday Sales
    I'm no Pence fan, but if you're looking to blame him, you are doing so mistakenly. Indiana's antiquated "Blue Laws" regarding when and where alcoholic beverages can be sold have been on the books since before Pence was born. The general assembly has to put a bill changing the law before Pence and it has chosen not to do so. Whether he would sign it is another matter. The battle is between "big box" stores and smaller retailers, like liquor stores, whose representatives are, ironically, in bed with neo-prohibitionists like MADD and fundamentalist Christians.
  • dumb laws
    Thankfully our state has so much money sitting around that we can waste it on enforcing absurd laws such as this one.
  • The Man
    Excise cops are the biggest waste in the country. you could get rid of the excise police and wont notice a thing.
  • Oh my oh my
    I'm sure the state paid these excise boys overtime to expose such a horrific violation of our state laws. Darn good use of tax payer money. I know I feel a lot safer knowing that next Christmas there won't be any beer sold. I bet next year we'll see all kinds of state excise officers in Speedway stores on the off chance they might hear someone suggest a six pack was sold without the blessing of Pence. I bet the state kept the sales tax for the illegal sales though.
  • Sunday?
    I don't believe Christmas was on Sunday, so Speedway should be commended for letting customers keep their relatives happy.
  • Great job!
    I couldn't agree more, Bilbo! Thank goodness these fine officers are protecting us against the evils of the devil's drink on the birthday of the Lord, who undoubtedly never drank wine on Sundays.
  • Thank Goodness
    Well, thank the sweet baby Jesus above. I feel much, much safer now! I'm glad these guys are out there protecting us from the grave ills that all too often prevail in our society. The nerve of some people having a drink on Christmas Day!

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