Ohio’s liquor laws could put a damper on your New Year’s Eve celebration

Ohio’s liquor laws limiting Sunday sales of alcohol could throw a wet towel on your Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve celebrations — unless you plan ahead.

This year, both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve fall on a Sunday. That means some liquor permit holders won’t be able to sell alcohol on one of the busiest retail sales days of the year. And consumers may be disappointed if they wait until the last minute to buy their high-powered liquid party supplies.

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“We started getting inquiries from permit holders in September,” Lindsey Leberth, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control, told this news outlet.

The bottom line for retailers, Leberth said: If you can’t sell it on Sundays now, you won’t be able to sell it on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve.

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"There are no exceptions in Ohio law for a temporary change in authorized sales privileges due to holidays, special events, or extraordinary circumstances," the agency cautions on its web site.

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Those retail shops that are already operating under the state liquor agency’s “D-6” permit — and which are not blocked by a local option/precinct-level Sunday sales limitation — won’t have any problems. They’re already authorized to sell alcohol on Sundays, just as they can Monday through Saturday. The hours may be a bit more abbreviated, though: The D-6 license authorizes the sale of intoxicating liquor on Sundays starting at either 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. until midnight, a narrower window than weekdays and Saturdays.

So plan ahead, check with your local retailer, and don’t end up with a “Sunday Surprise.” Then, consume responsibly.

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