INDIANAPOLIS - Convenience stores in Indiana are keeping up their fight to be able to sell cold beer, as a trade group said Tuesday it was appealing a judge's decision upholding the state law that prohibits them from selling the beverages chilled.
The Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association announced it was asking a federal appeals court to review the district court judge's ruling last month rejecting its challenge. Federal Judge Richard Young ruled that the state has legitimately drawn a line by allowing only liquor stores to sell cold beer.
Scot Imus, the convenience store association's executive director, said the group maintains that the state law goes against common sense.
"It is clear the monopoly liquor stores have limits consumer choice and hurts the growth of our state's economy," Imus said. "Indiana has the dubious distinction of being the only state that regulates beer sales based on temperature."
The association is also challenging the restrictions with a lawsuit in a Marion County court.
The Indiana attorney general's office has defended the state law, saying the proper place to fight the restrictions was the Legislature, not the courts.
Efforts by opponents of the restrictions, however, have been unsuccessful in attempts over the past several years to persuade legislators to allow cold beer sales in convenience stores and groceries.
Young wrote in his ruling that expanding the sale of cold beer beyond liquor stores, taverns and restaurants would make Indiana's alcoholic beverage laws tougher to enforce by creating many more outlets where minors could buy cold beer.
The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers supports the current law, saying that grocery and convenience stores don't face the same the age restrictions as liquor stores on who can enter and the requirement to hire clerks with state liquor licenses.
An appeal of the judge's ruling was expected because the convenience store association has spent a large sum of money to sue the state, said Patrick Tamm, CEO of the liquor store group.
Tamm released the following statement:
We are not surprised by the notice to appeal. The plaintiffs have spent a considerable sum of money to bring this challenge and pursue litigation against the state of Indiana. No doubt they will spend a considerably larger sum to pursue any appeals after a definitive ruling by Judge Young. These plaintiffs are large corporate interests with deep pockets and have much to gain in overturning Indiana law – even as they admitted in their own testimony calling their gas stations and convenience stores that sell alcohol "profit centers."
IPS approves new staff policy for student fights
Indianapolis Public Schools board members are discussing changing the district’s policy when it comes to teachers intervening in…
Infant rescue a reminder of importance of CPR
A local day care owner performed CPR on an 11-month-old child in her care for seven minutes to save her life.
Surgery increases chance of success after stroke
A surgery performed at a local hospital is helping to increase the chances of success for stroke victims.
Police investigating death of 1-year-old girl
A 1-year-old girl died after she was found unconscious in her home Thursday morning.
Vision Fleet CEO defends electric car contract
The owner of the company providing electric cars to the City of Indianapolis is defending the contract worth more than $32 million.