State lawmakers were recently made aware that some Ricker’s convenience stores in the state are selling carryout cold beer. That this has become such a hotly contested issue highlights how outdated our current laws are regarding the sale of alcohol. Indiana is the only state in the nation that regulates the temperature of beer being sold.
I personally believe Mr. Ricker abided by the rules when obtaining his liquor license from the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission. Ricker’s met the qualifications for an in-store restaurant alcohol permit by having $200,000 in food sales and a dining room capacity of at least 25. He went through the public hearings and was approved by both the local board and the ATC.
The way lawmakers are responding to the Ricker’s issue represents a knee-jerk reaction. Instead, we should take a thorough look at this issue by assigning it to a summer study committee that can take the time necessary to comprehensively review our current alcohol laws and propose new ideas and legislation. We need to clear this issue up by taking the time to adequately review it, not by rushing to make a quick fix.
It’s my hope that we can take a step back and focus on reforming our alcohol laws in a way that supports entrepreneurs and employers, while also maintaining strong public health and safety protections and meeting the needs and desires of the public we represent.
Sen. Phil Boots, R-Crawfordsville