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Published January 29, 2013, 06:14 PM

Proposed Alcohol Sales Bill Brings Mixed Feelings

Controversy is brewing over a bill that would allow earlier alcohol sales on Sundays in North Dakota. A bill being considered in the House would allow alcohol sales to be two hours earlier. House bill 1367 would allow city leaders to decide if businesses could move their noon serving time back to 10 a.m. The current time is legislatively mandated.

Controversy is brewing over a bill that would allow earlier alcohol sales on Sundays in North Dakota. A bill being considered in the House would allow alcohol sales to be two hours earlier. House bill 1367 would allow city leaders to decide if businesses could move their noon serving time back to 10 a.m. The current time is legislatively mandated.

If you want a bloody mary or beer before the big football game on any given Sunday there is only one place to get it, your own private stash. Grand Forks residents have mixed feelings about a bill that could change that.

Phyllis Pool, "If they can't buy it beforehand then it's not going to make that big of a difference." Richard Abar, Rite Spot Liquor store owner, "I think people have enough access to get alcohol at convenient times that they can get it."

Dennis Blackmun, Joe Black's Co-owner, "It would be convenient because we do have people lining up outside the door for football and NASCAR so it would be nice to let them in." Pool, "I really don't mind having the bars open on a Sunday but not until after noon. Because that gives us some family time where people have to be together."

The bill passed through the House Industry, Business and Labor Committee this week by an eight to three margin. Locally, many say two hours really doesn't make too much of a difference.

Blackmun, "We both said is would be more of a convenience thing, we don't look at it as an economic boom by any means." Abar, "Just having that extra two hours on a Sunday morning, I think just kind of takes away from some peoples relaxing time too."

Some who voted against the measure said the change wasn't substantial enough. Others say providing local control will allow communities to decide the issue. If the bill passes it would go into effect August 1st and it would be up to each city to decide whether they wanted the earlier sales or not.

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