House Passes Bill Allowing Earlier Alcohol Sales On Sundays

HB1434 – the so-called “brunch bill” introduced by Rep. Marie Strinden (D-Grand Forks) – passed the state House narrowly today, but without much debate.

The final vote was 49-42, but Rep. Ben Hanson who carried the bill out of the Industry, Business, and Labor Committee (where it got a 10-4 “do pass” recommendation) was the only one to speak on the issue.

The only real point he made in favor of the bill was noting that North Dakota has the latest start-time for alcohol sales on Sundays as noon. Minnesota, he noted, is at 10:00am. In Manitoba, to the north, sales start at 9:00am. In South Dakota and Montana sales can start at 8:00am and 7:00am, respectively.

Ironically, the bill would still leave North Dakota has having the latest Sunday alcohol sales in the region:

hb1434

 

I think these sort of blue laws are a little silly, and are having zero impact on problem drinkers other than perhaps modifying very slightly the timing of some of their drinking. To the extent that this rolls back the silliness a tiny degree, it’s good policy.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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