Fallin signs liberalized liquor laws

Stores may open Sundays

Tulsans may soon be able to buy hard liquor on Sunday.

Gov. Mary Fallin signed another in a continuing set of laws to liberalize Oklahoma’s retail liquor laws. Senate Bill 211, authored by liquor champion Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, will allow Tulsa County to vote on whether or not to open liquor stores on Sunday.

The issue will undoubtedly go before the Tulsa County Commission, who can approve a public vote on the matter.

Chances are it would pass.

Some liquor store owners will oppose the county vote for Sunday hours. They think that it will simply spread six days of sales over seven days while increasing their overhead. The Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma would favor a yes vote for the sake of the convenience for customers even though it wouldn’t produce more revenue.

State voters approved State Question 792 last November and that will allow grocery stores, convenience stores, drug stores and other retailers to sell refrigerated hard beer and wine, beginning in October 2018. Senate Bill 211, also from Bice, was signed into law by Fallin.

Bice authored Senate Bill 411, which expands the operating hours for state breweries. It opens up more hours for liquor stores (8 a.m. instead of 10 a.m.) but not on Sundays. That was signed by Fallin.

In August of 2016, craft breweries started being allowed to serve full-strength beer in tap – but only until 9 p.m. Thanks to Bice and Fallin, they will be able to sell craft beer until 2 a.m. beginning in October of 2018.

There was an effort to pass a law that would allow parents to take their children into liquor stores but that was not passed in the 2017 session.