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Repealing Colorado’s Ban on Sunday Liquor Sales

July 26, 2015

Effective July 1, 2008, Colorado’s Senate Bill 82 officially lifted the ban on liquor sales on Sundays. This ended a sales ban that had been in effect since Prohibition days, which banned liquor stores from selling wine, beer, and other spirits on Sundays. In lifting the ban, Colorado became the 35th state to pass a law allowing Sunday spirit sales.

Bill history

Colorado’s lift on the ban of Sunday liquor sales represents the latest movement in a growing trend toward modernizing archaic alcohol laws across the United States. Since 2002, Colorado, along with 12 other states, has passed legislation to allow for Sunday liquor sales. When Governor Bill Ritter signed the bill on April 14, 2008, it effectively ended a 75-year prohibition against Sunday liquor sales in the state. However, legislators made it clear that the repeal of the Sunday liquor sale ban does not mean the state will be any less vigilant in fighting against underage drinking, alcohol abuse, and drunk driving.

Consumer benefit

When the bill passed, Colorado was one of 16 states still prohibiting Sunday alcohol sales. This restriction was imposed after the national repeal of Prohibition in the 1930s. Local retailers who favored staying open on Sundays petitioned Colorado legislators to make this change. In repealing the ban, Colorado joined its neighboring states of Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Wyoming—all of which now allow for Sunday spirits sales.

Bill opposition

Though lifting the ban has been fairly well received, some local retailers fought against the bill. Opponents cited the need of a day of rest for their employees. However, consumers widely favored the law and pushed for its passage, as it provides customers will greater convenience to shop on their own schedule.
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