A new Nebraska law permits sales of hard liquor, wine and beer at convenience stores, supermarkets and other outlets beginning at 6 a.m. on Sundays. In Iowa, gas stations and convenience stores no longer need separate wings to sell alcohol. Both states are part of a national trend to ease liquor laws, according to The Omaha World-Herald.
The trend is resulting in longer hours of sales, and more outlets for alcohol. The newspaper reports another new Nebraska law will soon allow people to walk outside a tavern carrying a drink, in so-called “entertainment zones.”
Not everyone is happy with the new laws. “If you really look at what’s best for public health and safety, we’ve been going backward for some time,” said Diane Riibe of Project Extra Mile, a Nebraska-based group that works to prevent underage drinking.
Some cities in Nebraska are considering stricter liquor provisions, such as new requirements for training those who sell alcohol, and more stringent restrictions on bars in certain zones.
The article notes that 16 states have repealed bans on Sunday liquor sales in the past decade. Only 12 states still ban Sunday alcohol sales, according to the Distilled Spirits Council.