CT residents speak against holiday liquor sale ban

FAIRFIELD - Many southwestern Connecticut residents dashed to liquor stores Thursday to stock up on beer and wine for Fourth of July celebrations, but some people say they wish they didn?t have to rush.

?I think it's time to move on,? says one customer at Harry?s Wine and Liquor in Fairfield. ?They're open a little later now, but it would be nice if holidays and Sundays could be included too.?

Connecticut's ban on the holiday and Sunday sale of liquor has been in place for more than 70 years, and some residents and officials are ready for change.

?It's a ridiculous, antiquated, outdated, pilgrim law,? says Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, who is trying to overturn Connecticut's ban on holiday liquor sale. ?You have to go to South Carolina and the eastern seaboard to find another state as backward as Connecticut when it comes to convenient sales hours for package stores.?

However, many local officials strongly oppose the idea of keeping liquor stores open on holidays throughout the state.

The President of the Connecticut Package Store Association says that with so much drunk driving, underage drinking and many other alcohol-related issues, the answer to the problems is not to make alcohol more available.

Finch, however, says this is not about promoting more alcohol use, but just making the hours more convenient for consumers.

The general manager of Harry?s, Patrick Monteleone, disagrees. He says that the one time they stayed open on the Fourth of July, they had to close the store by 3:00 p.m. because they were making no sales - their customers got used to the ban.

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