Indiana legislators have passed a restrictive alcohol sales license that targets one particular type of business model from competing in the marketplace, and Libertarian Party activists in Indiana are protesting. WBIW 1340 AM radio reports:
Over the weekend, Libertarians from several Indiana counties will host a protest at a convenience store/restaurant in Columbus.
The third event of its type that the LP has coordinated, it has become known as “Drink In for Liberty” and by the hashtag #LPdrinkin, which has included previous events in both Columbus and Sheridan.
It all sparked from Indiana House Bill 1496 that changed the definition of what qualifies as a “restaurant” in the eyes of state law. This legislation was drafted with the specific intention of blocking a single company, Hoosier owned Ricker Oil Company Inc, from being able to renew their legally obtained alcohol permit.
Brent Land, a key organizer of the event and local Libertarian activist stated: “Unfortunately, Indiana’s powerful liquor lobby successfully convinced the Indiana General Assembly to alter the laws regarding carry-out cold beer sales after the fact, and at great expense to Ricker’s, who will only be able to sell carry-out cold beer until their license expires.”
Fair competition in free markets is a keystone of the Libertarian Party’s platform, and Indiana’s alcohol laws are prime examples of legislation full of contradictions, protections, favoritism, and “blue laws” which restrict the sales of certain items on Sundays. The Libertarian Party of Indiana feels that these laws are good parallels to demonstrate how government unfairly influences nearly all markets and industries.
Clyde Myers, who is seeking the Libertarian nomination for Indiana State Representative in that district, had this to say: “This isn’t about beer. It’s about fair competition in the marketplace and letting adult Hoosiers make their own choices. The Indiana General Assembly moved the goalpost on Ricker’s because they don’t care for their particular business model. Would they have called a special session of the Indiana House to block a liquor store from putting in a burrito kiosk? I doubt it. If they can do this to Ricker’s over beer, they can do this to any business for any reason.”
Myers continued regarding blue laws: “How is it possible that the sale of alcohol creates such a public nuisance on Sunday that it should be banned, but that this nuisance doesn’t exist on Saturday or Monday? If it does, we should be able to quantify that with existing data. If Sunday alcohol is so bad, why can you still drink in bars and restaurants, then drive home, but it’s illegal to just grab a six pack to go? It makes no sense.”
The Libertarians haven’t been the only ones to drop in and show their support at “Drink In for Liberty” events in the past. Local people of all stripes and political persuasions have dropped in to relax, have a beer, and chat about the myriad of regulations they find absurd and intrusive, and to show their support for freedom of choice.