On July 1st the Virginia ABC Store in Berryville will open it’s doors for the first time on a Sunday. A new law passed in the Commonwealth of Virginia allows the Crow Street location to join the ranks of other ABC stores across the state that will begin the sale of liquor on Sundays.
Changes to Virginia’s “blue law” started in 2004 when select ABC stores in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and areas of Northern Virginia began selling alcohol on Sundays. It was expanded to stores in large cities in 2008. The new legislation that was passed by the General Assembly in February removed the population restrictions and will now allow all ABC stores to sell alcohol on Sundays as of July 1 where local ordinances do not prohibit it.
Current laws already allow consumers to buy beer or wine at grocery stores on Sundays and order hard liquor drinks at bars and restaurants.
While the freedom to purchase alcohol from ABC stores on Sunday is a plus for consumers, the real winner is the State of Virginia as the extended hours add up to more sales that will generate more money for the state’s general fund. Last year’s ABC report shows Sunday store sales were up 9.6% from 2010, putting $1.8 million more into the state’s pocket.
After the new law goes into effect, the state plans to monitor the 200 ABC stores that will be affected. After six months, the sales figures from the stores will be reviewed for profitability and a decision will be made whether or not to keep the new hours.
The Sunday hours will be from 1:00p.m. till 6:00 p.m.