Kentucky to allow Election Day alcohol sales

08 April, 2013

The Kentucky governor has signed a Bill to repeal a Prohibition-era ban on Election Day alcohol sales.

Governor Steve Beshear signed into law a bill repealing America’s strictest ban on Election Day alcohol sales, according to the Distilled Spirits Council. The trade body called Kentucky’s modernisation the "latest in a trend of states updating antiquated liquor laws".

Senate Bill 13, sponsored by Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, allows a retailer to sell alcohol during the hours the polls are open on a primary, or regular, local option, or special election day across Kentucky. The new law takes effect on June 24.

DISCUS vice president Jay Hibbard said: “The Election Day sales ban is a relic from a bygone era when saloons sometimes served as polling stations.

“Blue laws don’t make sense in today’s economy and we applaud governor Beshear for recognising this outdated restriction and removing it. Repealing the Election Day sales ban will increase revenues—benefitting the state, counties and cities.”

Hibbard pointed out that Kentucky is now the sixth state since 2008 to repeal a ban on Election Day alcohol sales. The five other states include West Virginia (2011), Indiana (2010), Utah (2009), Idaho (2008) and Delaware (2008).

South Carolina remains the only state in the country which clings to statewide Election Day sales bans of alcohol at restaurants, bars and package stores.

“Repealing these silly Prohibition-era restrictions is a great way for legislators to boost tourism and help small businesses around the state,” Hibbard concluded.

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