Legislative panel OKs bill to allow alcohol sales every dayPeople would be able to buy alcohol in South Dakota any day of the year under a bill advanced to the full House Wednesday by its commerce committee. The legislation would allow beer, wine and liquor sales — either off-sale or on-sale — from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. on any day.
By: Dirk Lammers, The Associated Press
People would be able to buy alcohol in South Dakota any day of the year under a bill advanced to the full House Wednesday by its commerce committee.
The legislation would allow beer, wine and liquor sales — either off-sale or on-sale — from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. on any day.
On-sale liquor sales — in which the liquor is consumed at the establishment that makes the sale — currently are prohibited between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m., while holders of an off-sale license can’t sell alcohol between midnight and 7 a.m.
Rep. Brock Greenfield, R-Clark, said the varying time windows are confusing for law enforcement and it makes sense to have everything standardized.
“It makes it very easy to understand the law,” Greenfield told the committee.
The bill would lift the ban on wine and liquor sales on Sundays, Memorial Day and Christmas, but local municipalities could opt out of that provision. Memorial Day and Christmas restrictions on beer sales at some establishments also would be lifted.
Rep. Carol Pitts, R-Brookings, voted against the measure, saying the Legislature should let communities decide on which days and during what hours alcohol may be sold, not impose a change and force them to opt out.
“I believe that puts an undue burden on the communities and the cost that that would entail on the local level,” she said.
HB 1002, approved by a 9-3 margin, also would allow people under age 21 to make sales in certain off-sale establishments if the license holder or someone age 21 or older is on premises. The change applies to establishments in which alcohol sales make up less than 50 percent of the gross business.
Rep. Darrell Solberg, D-Sioux Falls, said teenagers shouldn’t be put in a situation where friends ask them to sell them booze.
“We’re putting an awful lot of pressure on these young kids,” Solberg said. “If their friends come in and they want to buy alcohol, the pressure now is with the kids.”
The committee also:
—killed a bill that would have reduced the period for revising fees for full-service restaurant on-sale licenses.
—sent to the full House a measure that would allow municipalities to issue an additional off-sale license only if one of the existing licensed businesses is open to the public for less than 180 days a year.
—advanced a bill that would allow religious organizations to import up to four gallons of alcohol for sacramental use.