Lifting a B.R. 'blue law' could have some in community seeing red
When you start talking about relaxing restrictions on alcohol sales, as the Metro Council is doing, the opposition typically comes in some form of moral argument. And as 225 blogger Slater McKay points out in his latest post, that's precisely the kind of argument that led to limits on Sunday alcohol sales in the first place. It's what's known as a "blue law." "The term 'blue law' is a colloquialism that generally refers to a law restricting commerce in some fashion in deference to religious tradition. For instance, many Christians view Sunday as a day of rest. Because of that, some businesses in Baton Rouge face restricted hours of operation (car dealerships) and/or limits to what kind of commerce they can conduct (restaurants selling or serving alcohol/beer during certain hours)," McKay writes. But as McKay also points out, lifting a ban on alcohol sales before 11 a.m. on Sundays at bars and liquor stores in the parish actually amounts to a small expansion of the hours in which alcohol can be sold or served. "Statistically speaking, it would mean that alcohol would be available for sale 83% of the hours in a week as opposed to 80% under our current laws," he writes. McKay is in favor of lifting the Sunday sales restriction, but notes there will be considerable opposition—Councilwoman Tara Wicker is thus far leading the charge against it—and that it's sure to be "the next drama-laden issue for the council to consider." Read his full blog post here.
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