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Arkansas’s quirky Christmas alcohol regulations will leave a lot of people high and dry this year



Little Rock, Arkansas – Regarding the sale of alcohol in the days preceding Christmas Day, the state of Arkansas has certain rules.

Selling alcoholic beverages on Christmas Day is prohibited, according to Scott Hardin of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

“That means you can’t go to a liquor store and buy alcohol, you can’t go to a convenience store, you can’t go to a restaurant, you can’t go to a bar,” Hardin explained.

According to Hardin, since casinos are granted licenses by the state Constitution rather than the Alcoholic Beverage Control, they are the only legal exception to the general rule.

Since Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year, alcohol cannot be purchased for consumption off-site in a significant portion of the state.

“You can’t go into a liquor store, or a convenience store, or a grocery store, and purchase alcohol on Sunday,” Hardin said.

He claimed that a statute enabling localities to put Sunday alcohol sales on the ballot was passed by the state in 2009.

Since then, 21 towns—most of which are in northwest Arkansas—have decided to approve the sale of alcohol on Sundays.

The general manager of Popatop Liquor Store in Little Rock, Patrick Emery, stated that his establishment would not be able to sell alcohol for two days because of existing rules.

Emery stated that he even has extra staff available to meet a surge in customers and that he expects business to build up Thursday through Saturday.

We’ve been preparing about a month in advance [because] this is a big time of the year for us,” he said. “We’re urging everybody to come out early and beat the masses.”

According to the Arkansas State Police, troopers are constantly alert for drivers who are intoxicated, particularly around the holidays.



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