Connecticut Facing 6,657th Dry Sunday


Forsooth, I am so drunk right now

Hope springs eternal in the heart of the Connecticut alkie, and for a minute this week it looked like residents of the Nutmeg State (delicious on Brandy Alexanders!) might finally be able to buy liquor at retail stores on Sunday. Some version of a ban on Sunday sales has been in place in Connecticut since at least 1882 and the state has long been famous for its old-style Blue Laws. That's 6,656 Sundays, give or take a few dozen.

But the proposal to free up liquor sales was once again squelched in committee in the state legislature, which ended its session this week.

The damnedest part? It's the association of state liquor store owners that keeps blocking the change. As long as your competitors can't work on Sunday, why should anyone want to work the weekends? Of course, members of the state legislature are happy to chime in on behalf of the Connecticut Package Stores Association:

Rep. Mary Mushinsky, D-Wallingford…said she is against raising revenue from controlled substances like alcohol. She also said she worried that businesses would be hurt by staying open seven days a week and was concerned about issues like underage drinking.

"Businesses would be hurt by staying open seven days a week?" What does that even mean? It's pretty easy to find data on what happens (a) when stores are open seven days a week in Connecticut, and (b) when liquor stores in other states are open seven days a week. And none of the evidence suggests catastrophe. Where exactly does Mushinsky think the danger rests?

Her comments were similar to statements made…by lobbyist Carroll Hughes, executive director of the package stores association.


Via Courtney Knapp's Google Buzz feed.

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  1. The blue laws never kept that human rum blossom, Chris Dodd, out of his tumbler on Sunday.

  2. She also said she worried that businesses would be hurt by staying open seven days a week and was concerned about issues like underage drinking.

    “Hang on a sec. I’m going to string together a couple of non-sequitor sound bites and see what sticks.”

    1. What about the other six days, wouldn’t the children under 21 just stock up on saturday?

      1. Get fucked Juanita.

    2. I like how it’s such a reflexive response that the reporter doesn’t even stop to think, “Wait… what the fuck are you talking about?”

  3. So Sen. John Kissel, R-Enfield, was for it, but co-chair of the committee (huh, must be a joint committee) Rep. Mary Mushinsky, D-Wallingford, is against it. Sen. Kissel did say he would try to bring it up later, when he’d have the votes.

  4. Cue the Reason commenters to decry the Christianist Theocracy that is Connecticut.

    1. “I’m here to decry the Damned Christianist Th….Th….”


  5. Underage drinking is stopped primarily by a ban on Sunday alcohol purchases. Everyone knows that. You break the seal on that and you’re looking at the start of an endless stream of underage drinking.

    1. Wait, weren’t you in the other thread being one of the people saying that government licensing is a-okay? If alcohol sales weren’t state licensed, we wouldn’t have this crap. The package stores association, like liquor stores and distributors everywhere, sure likes that government licensing requirement.

      1. You, sir, have just picked a fight with the holder of an officially issued Class A Certificate of Sarcasm.

        Which, I can assure you, is soooo intimidating.

        1. Oh, a sarcasm detector. That’s a reeeeeal useful invention.

        2. Is that a sarcasm Certificate, or a sarcasm License?

          1. Let me get right on checking that for you, Your Majesty.

            1. Your Majesty? Is WTF some kind of royalty? This out of place phrasing confuses me.

              1. Yeah, that’s totally Class A Certificate-worthy work, heller.



                1. Really? Why thank you. I was expecting you to say that it was not in fact Class A Certificate-worthy work, but the opposite of what I expected happened when you said that it was totally Class A Certificate-worthy work. I am now quite startled and do not know what to think anymore.

    1. No muff too tuff!

      1. How much booze will it take to get that Puritan chick naked?

        1. None, see The Crucible.

  6. Kids barfing malt liquor off the sides of trampolines on Sunday afternoons are a hilarious menace.

  7. It’s the association of state liquor store owners that keeps blocking the change.? SHOCKER!!

    Just like the Detroit auto dealers who continue to support the state’s law banning Sunday sales in certain counties (incl Wayne, of course)…and the violence that ensued to keep the uppity dissenters in line back in the day (been looking for a link to one of the stories from the 70’s/80’s – haven’t found one yet).

    Fortunately, I don’t recall anyone being killed….just tons of property damage. Haven’t seen much on this the last few years. Apparently, the dissidents have learned their lesson.

    What a nice example of “public/private partnership”, no? 🙂

    1. Iowa has a similar auto sales ban on Sundays, similarly supported by the car dealers. At least here it’s a plain power play, they don’t pretend that it’s for our good.

  8. NY used to not allow any liquor or wine sales on Sunday and no beer sales until after 12 noon. They just changed in the last few years to allow liquor or wine sales on Sunday after 12 noon and beer sales after 8 AM.

  9. “and beer sales after 8 AM.”

    Saints be praised!

  10. CT, MA, and RI are all stupid about this, but CT (and I think RI) have remained quite stupid about it. MA finally opened up Sunday sales recently, but CT and RI remain firm to placate the liquor store associations.

    Remember that you can only buy liquor and wine in “package stores” (liquor stores) and that the only other place you can buy beer is the supermarket. They just don’t want to have to be open on Sundays. And holidays–don’t forget that you cannot buy booze in CT on the 4th of July.

    1. Set off fireworks sober?

      Yankee killjoys

  11. Daughter: James Brown’s body is ‘missing from its crypt’……..ghter.html

  12. I remember leaving my native Nutmeg State for college in Oberlin, OH and being amazed that you could A) buy beer after 8 o’clock at night and B) buy beer on Sundays. Of course, Oberlin is a dry-ish municipality, so we needed to go over the town limits for the harder stuff and, even worse, wait for our West Virginian friends to come back from breaks for the everclear. So, so dumb.

    1. I was out in Tucson from CT and was pretty thrilled to be able to buy a pint of tequila at…the gas station. Late at night.

      1. As a resident of Tucson , If you made a purchase late at night at a gas station, My guess it was probably Cuervo not Tequila.

        1. Knowing Epi, he probably just drank gas.

  13. Mushinsky is at least appropriately named. Her thinking on this subject is very mushinsky.

  14. Meanwhile, here in VA, when our new gubner Bobby McDonnell said he was in favor of selling off the state ABC stores and letting private bidnesses sell alkyhal, lots of people went nutso. Because we’re having this here budget crush, ya see, and how could you suggest such a thing in a time when we need all that revenue?

    Nobody mentioned the analysis that has been done of the money it costs the state to employ all those people and rent all that retail space to operate liquor stores, versus how much it would take in in sales tax and booze tax if someone else sold it.

    1. Hmmm, slim profit or free extortion money?

  15. Kansas had a ban on Sundays sales for a long time. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if you want to drink on Sunday you buy on Saturday. Or go to Missouri.

    1. Foresight, stocking up, saving for a rainy day…these are concepts unfamiliar to some people. Not that their inability to plan ahead should be punished by the state. Just sayin’.

  16. Bah, booze is cheaper in Mass anyway. I guess ol’ Teddy wrote in an exception so he could get the demon drink on the cheap.

  17. For a magazine called Reason…

    1. Drink quickly before Sunday is upon us!

  18. ForamagazinecalledReason!

  19. Don’t gulp.

  20. Pennsylvania had/has similar laws. up until about 5 years ago it was illegal for distributors to sell beer on Sunday but that was changed. hell you couldn’t sell beer in grocery stores in PA but that has recently changed too. they have now allowed stores like Wegmans, Weis, and Sheetz to sell beer now. but I’m pretty sure that in PA they still have it law that the state run liquor stores must be closed on Sundays. am I wrong? every liquor store I’ve been to here in PA is like that. I really hope PA ends its bullshit monopoly on liquor, it drives prices up and limits selection and choice.

  21. The smart ones evacuate these banana republics. The stupid ones stay and gripe and pay, pay, pay.

  22. OF COURSE they’re opposed– near-zero additional profit; but 16.6% higher overhead! Jesus– they’d like to be open only ONE day a week.

    (This same problem has been going on in GA for years. Bar/restaurants, who can serve on a limited basis on Sunday, are also opposed, for reasons that are obvious.)

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