Monday, March 8, 2010

Will Connecticut Residents Finally Be Able to Buy Alcohol on Sunday?

Challenging Connecticut's Blue Laws.  I recently did a real estate closing for an old high school friend and as a thank you he invited my wife and I over for Sunday dinner.  Never one to turn down free food, I accepted the invitation without hesitation.   Being a bit of a wine aficionado,  I decided to bring a nice bottle of wine as a house warming gift.  I selected a lovely vintage, a bottle of 2010 Boone's Farm Watermelon flavored wine.  At $3.49 a bottle, I couldn't help but splurge. None of that old wine for my friend. As an attorney, society expects me to exude civility and class. I oblige whenever I can. Unfortunately, I was unable to buy the bottle of wine.  I live in Connecticut.

If you are a resident of the Nutmeg State,  you know that all alcohol purchases must be made by eight o'clock.  Apparently, Connecticut law makers feared that if the masses purchased beer after the set hour they would either turn into pumpkins or multiply like gremlins. The State's notorious blue laws also forbid sales of beer, wine and hard liquor in package stores and supermarkets on Sundays.  In fact Connecticut is only one of three states with the ban.  (The other two being Texas and Iran.) And what's a package store you say?  It's what we call liquor stores in the state.  We also call hero sandwiches "grinders."  Long story....

Today, state law makers are considering ending the ban on both buying alcohol and hunting on Sundays. Mixing alcohol and firearms? What a wonderful idea.  In addition to potentially increasing Connecticut based episodes of "Cops", proponents believe lifting the alcohol ban can generate millions for the state's coffers during these tough economic times.   Some of the state's Police chiefs have opposed the plan suggesting that the move will lead to an increase in incidents of family violence and drunk driving.  Of course, the added tax revenue could benefit many programs hard hit by the state's financial woes.

Frankly, I think it's time that Connecticut joins the rest of our nation.  We'd like to know your thoughts.
Editors Note:

Connecticut's puritanical blue laws are traced back to Governor Theoplilus Eaton.  Printed in London in 1656, they were then distributed in the New Haven Colony.  Some select blue laws included:
  1. If any person turns Quaker, he shall be banished, and not suffered to return but upon pain of death.
  2. No one shall run on the Sabbath day, or walk in his garden or elsewhere, except reverently to and from meeting.
  3. No one shall travel, cook victuals, make beds, sweep house, cut hair, or shave, on the Sabbath day.
  4. No woman shall kiss her child on the Sabbath or fasting day.
  5. To pick an ear of corn growing in a neighbor's garden, shall be deemed theft.
  6. Whoever publishes a lie to the prejudice of his neighbor, shall sit in the stocks, or be whipped fifteen stripes.
  7. Men-stealers shall suffer death.
  8. Whoever wears clothes trimmed with gold, silver, or bone lace, above two shillings by the yard, shall be presented by the grand jurors, and the selectmen shall tax the offender at £300 estate.
  9. A debtor in prison, swearing he has no estate, shall be let out and sold, to make satisfaction.
  10. Whoever sets a fire in the woods, and it burns a house, shall suffer death; and persons suspected of this crime shall be imprisoned, without benefit of bail.
  11. No one shall read Common-Prayer, keep Christmas or saints-days, make minced pies, dance, play cards, or play on any instrument of music, except the drum, trumpet, and the Jews-harp.
  12. The selectmen, on finding children ignorant, may take them away from their parents, and put them into better hands, at the expense of their parents.
  13. Fornication shall be punished by compelling the marriage, or as the Court may think proper.
  14. Adultery shall be punished by death.
  15. A man that strikes his wife shall pay a fine of £10; a woman that strikes her husband shall be punished as the Court directs.
  16. No man shall court a maid in person, or by letter, without first obtaining consent of her parents: £5 penalty for the first offence; £10 for the second; and, for the third, imprisonment during the pleasure of the Court.
  17. Married persons must live together, or be imprisoned.
  18. Every male shall have his hair cut round according to a cap
Thankfully many of these laws are no longer on the books.  I myself am guilty of wearing clothes trimmed with gold, have courted an occasional maid or two during my bachelor days and although I have not embraced the Quaker religion, I have on occasion eaten oats for breakfast.


Anonymous said...

Who would want to buy a debtor. They are probably lazy and won't work well.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the one about ignorant children. My kids would have been shipped off along time ago. They take after their father. LOL

Irene C. Olszewski, Esq. said...

It's a shame CT residents can't buy a little Zywiec on Sundays to go with that kielbasa and pierogi. I think it's time CT loosened up a bit.

Besides, if all married persons were forced to live together or be imprisoned, we divorce lawyers might have to look for another line of work!

misha trotsky said...

IIRC, the third state is Georgia.

So they buy enough on Saturday, to last until Monday. Also, Houghton, NY is dry. So people drive 1/2 mile more, and the stores there lose millions each year, without stopping one poor soul from the ravages of drink.

I'm still living off bootleg money. Really.