Time to allow sale of alcohol on Sunday

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By The Staff

An Indian Land woman is hoping to get a referendum on the ballot in November 2012 that would let Lancaster County voters decide whether they want to OK the Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages at restaurants in the county.

We not only favor putting the referendum on the ballot, we also favor approving the referendum. We believe Lancaster County restaurants should be allowed to sell alcoholic drinks on Sunday if they want to.

Why not?

What’s the point of restricting Sunday sales of alcohol at Lancaster County restaurants?

Some folks, we know, will argue for maintaining the restriction for religious reasons, but we don’t believe that’s right.

Religion is an extremely personal matter. And people who are religious don’t all agree on how much drinking is acceptable, anyway. Some believe moderate drinking is OK, even on Sundays, while others have stricter views. They either oppose drinking on Sundays or oppose it altogether. That’s fine. America is a melting pot of people with different ideas and beliefs. We wouldn’t want it any other way.

But allowing restaurants here to sell alcoholic beverages on Sundays doesn’t force anyone to change their religious views or practices.

Folks who don’t believe in drinking on Sundays simply don’t have to partake, and those folks who’d like to have a drink with their Sunday meals could enjoy whatever drink they want.

Blue laws now restrict the Sunday sales of alcohol at Lancaster County restaurants. At one time, blue laws banned Sunday sales of alcohol throughout the state. But the laws have become less restrictive over the years. Now each county in the state can decide whether it wants to permit Sunday sales of alcohol at restaurants.

Our neighbor to the west, York County, permits alcohol sales at restaurants on Sundays. Restaurants in the Charlotte area just to the north also allow alcohol sales. And that’s causing a problem for the county, especially in Indian Land, whose demographics are more like northern York County and south Charlotte than the rest of Lancaster County.

Many people here would like a glass of wine or something with their meal. And when they can’t get it here, they simply drive to a restaurant in another county, taking their money with them. If Lancaster County restaurants could serve alcohol on Sundays, those dollars would stay here in the county, benefiting our local businesses and our tax revenues.

We think this blue law is hurting the county and could potentially hurt it more in the future, especially if new restaurants are reluctant to open here because of this antiquated blue law. We shouldn’t drive business away from the county with an outdated law. We should let it go.

We urge you to contact Elissa Boyet, who is spearheading the petition drive, sign the petition and vote to change the county ordinance to allow Sunday alcohol sales in restaurants when this issue makes it to a referendum. You can reach Boyet at (803) 396-5363 or niftee@msn.com.