NASHVILLE, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Wine and liquor sales on Sunday could be coming to a store near you. It’s what some Tennessee lawmakers want to do - but not all of them.
As one supporter half joked, Sunday wine and liquor sales promises to be a spirited fight up at the capitol.
Liquor, wine, and beer are a strange mix in Tennessee if you want to buy them on Sunday. Beer you can in most stores. Wine and liquor you cannot, but a new bill would change that.
“We have been down now for about two years and Sunday sales would help us out a great deal,” says Knoxville liquor store owner Chester Crowley.
It’s about dollars and a sense of fairness this Knoxville liquor store owner. Before a legislative committee Tuesday, he talked of losing about 20% in revenue since the state allowed wine to be sold in grocery stores, which hurt his business.
“I am hoping that the legislature sees that we could really benefit from the seven-day sale, that is what I am hoping for,” says Crowley.
Other supporters say the Tennessee should mirror much of the country, allowing Sunday wine and liquor sales.
“It has really been a nationwide trend over the last 15 years or so,” says David Ozgo with the Distilled Spirits Council of U.S. “There have been 18 states that have adopted it, to bring the total up to 40, so it is really the norm nationwide.”
But it’s hard to swallow for some lawmakers, seeing potential consequences.
“We continue to see the epidemic of drunk driving and lots of other things, and societal ails that come from the use and abuse specifically of alcohol,” says Rep. Andy Holt (R-District 76.)
Holt says there is simply too much alcohol already in Tennessee.
It took years to get a law allowing wine in grocery stores. Supporters of Sunday wine and alcohol hope it doesn't take that long for this.