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."
Indiana DNR offers camping gift cards
Indiana residents stumped by what holiday gift to buy a friend or relative who loves the great outdoors now have the option of reserving them…
Off-duty state trooper extinguishes house fire
An off-duty Indiana State Trooper in Wayne County saved a home from going up in flames on Saturday.
Dozens gather at service for slain aid worker
Dozens of people gathered Saturday night to honor an Indiana aid worker executed by Islamic State militants.
Friends, family mourn teens killed Thursday
Church members came together in remembrance Saturday for two young men killed this week on the northeast side.
Indy Star: 'We erred' in publishing cartoon
The Indianapolis Star pulled an editorial cartoon this week after an influx of readers deeming it "racially insensitive."
Johnson Co. sheriff investigating child's death
Johnson County authorities were investigating the death of an 11-year-old boy in Greenwood on Saturday.