Official: Sunday alcohol sale ban curbs underage drinking

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) A push to change Indiana’s alcohol laws hit a possible road block as a surprising supporter of the ban came forward.

A rep from IUPUI said he hopes the ban on Sunday sales stays put because he believes it curbs underage drinking on college campuses.

It happened during the latest committee hearing examining whether Indiana needs to change its alcohol laws.

It’s one of many concerns this committee will take into consideration before making recommendations to state lawmakers.

Everyone has the same goal with Indiana’s alcohol laws.

“To help everyone and hurt no one. And if we can improve the business atmosphere for everyone retailers and dealers combined, I’m all for it,” said Terry Bauer, a committee member.

But how to achieve that or if it’s already being achieved is the big question. On Tuesday the state committee tasked with figuring that out heard from a big supporter of keeping the Sunday sale ban in place.

“It’s not just the partiers having fun being rambunctious,” said Eric Teske, the university’s assistant director of substance abuse prevention. “It’s connected to these mental health concerns and their academic performance and readiness.”

Teske said the ban should stay in place based on dozens of studies on underage drinking.

“These are the ones that rose to the top that have the biggest impact on college alcohol abuse,” he said, referencing to a list of highly effective methods.

But not everyone buys that.

“My experience is Sunday is when the college students are trying to recuperate from Friday and Saturday and they’re not worried about going out Sunday and getting it,” said Bauer.

While the Sunday alcohol ban looms large over the statehouse, so does the ban of cold beer sales at stores.

If the law changed thousands of grocery and convenient stores would be eligible for alcohol permits.

Committee members are concerned about how officers would enforce the law, since there wouldn’t be extra ones hired.

This committee will meet again in two weeks but won’t make recommendations for nearly two more years.