Beginning this weekend, West Virginians can purchase a bottle of spirits any day of the week, under a new law signed today by Governor Jim Justice repealing the state’s Prohibition-era ban on Sunday liquor sales.
“More and more states are rolling back these outdated Sunday sales bans to modernize their alcohol laws and increase consumer convenience,” said Chris Swonger, President and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council, the trade association for the nation’s distillers that supported the legislation. “These archaic laws no longer serve a public interest, undermine business freedom and eliminate consumer choice.”
Previously, consumers in West Virginia were only allowed to buy beer and wine at retail stores on Sundays. Under the new law, distilled spirits will be permitted for sale in retail stores on Sundays after 1 p.m., except for Easter and Christmas. Del. Brandon Steele (R-Raleigh) was the lead sponsor of the legislation, HB 2481.
According to a Distilled Spirits Council economic analysis, Sunday liquor sales could generate more than $1 million in new state revenue if all stores open that are eligible under the law.
Since 2002, 21 states have passed Sunday spirits sales legislation bringing the total to 43 states across the country. Most recently, Indiana and Tennessee passed Sunday sales legislation in 2018, and the Virginia legislature has passed legislation this session that would roll back hours of operation on Sunday from noon to 10 a.m.