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Sunday liquor sales take effect

Sunday liquor sales take effect

A ceremonial beer run is in order today.

After 159 years of prohibition, Minnesotans can now purchase alcohol on Sundays for off-site consumption.

The Minnesota Legislature passed a bill in February to repeal the state's ban on Sunday sales. The Rochester City Council later followed suit by lifting all local restrictions on sales.

The new rules allow liquor sales from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays (alcohol deliveries are still be prohibited). The law does not make it mandatory for stores to open; it gives them the option to do so.

While a clear victory for consumers, many businesses are less excited about staying open seven days a week. They worry the extra labor costs will exceed any additional revenue.

"It's not going to be a net win for the state or the retail industry on many levels," said Tony Chesak, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, in an interview with MPR News.

Chesak added, "The first couple of Sundays may be profitable, but after that, I think the shine's going to get worn off a little bit, and people are going to go back to the old buying habits." His group had lobbied against the law change, MPR notes.

"Blue laws," such as Minnesota's ban on Sunday liquor sales, were first introduced in the U.S. in the colonial days to outlaw certain secular activities on the Sabath. Banned activities included shopping, working and engaging in sexual intercourse.

While most blue laws faded away after the Revolutionary War, some continue to exist to this day. The most common restrictions involve the sales of automobiles and alcohol.

At the start of the 21st century, more than two dozen states had Sunday liquor bans. That number now stands at 11.

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Cover photo: File / Pixabay

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