I remember the first time I tried to buy beer on a Sunday in Connecticut. It was quite a shock for me, reading a sign proclaiming the illegality of such a ghastly practice. How dare I try to buy booze on the Sabbath! I had to drive into Westchester County to get it.
And imagine my surprise when I found out about New Hampshire. For a state with the motto "Live Free or Die," you'd think it would be a no-brainer to let people be free to drink past 1am.
Surprisingly, there are still a lot of restrictions on Sunday liquor sales in several US states, including Texas and Minnesota. Those are known as "blue laws," the general term referring to a restriction on any sort of good or activity being sold on Sunday (or for part of that day, at least). Car dealerships and hunting are also frequently under restriction as well.
Thankfully, some common sense is starting to prevail--Connecticut's legislature removed its Sunday restrictions on alcohol recently, and there are many movements to push last call later into the night in other states. But it's not because the states have suddenly decided to wise up; it's because they "need the money." A business lobbying group in New Hampshire estimated state could gain $6 million annually in additional revenue just by making last call 2am rather than 1am (according to an article on the Wall Street Journal). Not only is that bump from people staying out longer; it's also removing the incentive for to hop across the border to party in other states.
It also takes into account the "sin taxes," referring to higher sales tax rates on alcohol and tobacco. Frankly, this is nonsense. I get that they're trying to cut down on addiction and abuse, but I like to have a nice drink or a premium cigar once in a while, and I don't want them costing twice what they normally should because a bunch of prissy, sanctimonious busybodies are trying to create utopia.
Those who can't or won't stop drinking and smoking...won't. Those who appreciate those things in their proper time and place will still have to pay as if they can't.
Am I the only one who thinks we'd be better off ditching the sin taxes and the blue laws? Would it be worth the increase in drunk driving and alcoholism that blue-law proponents claim?
At least let Maine extend last call to 4am. Those craft breweries up there are so amazing it just might be worth it...