A legislative panel tasked with rewriting the state’s alcohol laws took testimony Monday on one of the most controversial topics the group plans to tackle – whether grocery and convenience stores should be able to sell cold beer.
The arguments, though, were the same they’ve been for years as the General Assembly has repeatedly debated the issue.
Supporters of the change say it would allow convenience store owners to adapt to a changing market.
The convenience chain Ricker’s sparked this year’s debate when it secured restaurant permits that allow cold beer and hard liquor for carryout. Its owner Jay Ricker says cementing the change would remove a legalized monopoly.
Some opponents to the change say selling cold beer in more places would lead to increased crime. And some argue it would make it easier for underage drinkers to get access to beer.