Bars Look Forward To Changes In Alcohol Sales

Relaxed Sunday Regulations Start July 1

Upcoming changes to Indiana's liquor laws have Indiana bars hoping to get more business on Sundays.

One of the changes allows extended Sunday hours for bars and restaurants. Bar managers said the change is welcomed because they have had to turn people away because of current laws, 6News' Tanya Spencer reported.

Currently, the sale of alcohol has to stop before midnight on Sunday at Claddagh Irish Pub and other bars, even if the business is still packed. On July 1, bars will be able to serve alcohol until 3 a.m. on Sundays.

"We've actually had to turn quite a few people away. We have a huge fireman's convention in town this week, and on a night like tonight, we will have to turn people away," said Claddagh manager Mike Kaufmann.

Bar and restaurant owners said the three extra hours of alcohol serving will be significant when large conventions or sporting events come to Indianapolis.

"When there are a lot of people in town for the Final Four, for football season … it will bring in that extra $8,000 a night, really, and that's a lot," said Julio Reyes, of Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery.

The new law will also allow carry-out sales at the state's 32 microbreweries, a change that the industry said will even its playing field with wineries that are already allowed to sell on Sundays.

"I think it's a good thing, and it was bound to happen," said Zack Anderson, a bar customer.

The new law will also allow liquor sales while the polls are open on Election Day. That will leave just two states -- West Virginia and Kentucky -- with Election Day prohibition laws in place.

Advocates Against Impaired Driving and other groups are against the changes, fearing that additional bar hours and relaxed carry-out rules could lead to more drunken driving crashes.

One change that will begin on July 1 will require bars to card all customers who appear under age 50 in an effort to curb underage drinking.

The changes will not affect liquor stores, grocery stores or convenience stores, which will still not be allowed to sell liquor on Sundays.