FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the issue here?
South Carolina’s liquor stores are closed on Sundays, barring liquor store owners to decide for themselves when to open and close, and limiting consumers’ freedom to buy what they want.
How long has that been the case?
This issue dates back to the Prohibition Era, when all forms of alcohol were forbidden in the U.S. Since then, almost every state in the country has updated their laws to reflect consumer freedom. South Carolina is still operating under strict rules from the 1920s.
Local referendums have been held throughout the state for over 20 years that let voters decide if beer and wine can be sold in stores on Sundays in their county. But oddly, voters are barred from deciding if local liquor stores can open on Sundays.
Why? Because beer, wine, and liquor are not regulated the same way.
But can’t I buy beer and wine on Sundays at stores in South Carolina?
You can – that’s because years ago, state lawmakers sensibly passed legislation that simply lets individual counties vote whether to allow Sunday sales of beer and wine in stores. Thirty-seven counties decided to approve it, but the point is those voters got to decide for themselves what was best for their communities, thanks to the state legislature rule.
So why not just pass similar state legislation for liquor, in which individual counties can let their voters decide how to handle Sunday sales?
That’s precisely the goal of our Cheers! Let SC Decide coalition and LetSCDecide.org.
That sounds totally reasonable. Is this idea popular?
Extremely popular! Nearly 75% of voters in the state support beer, wine and liquor being regulated the same way.
What makes the issue so favorable to so many different people?
Part of the answer is freedom – consumers want (and deserve) to make their own choices about their purchases, which includes letting business owners operate with consumers’ best interests in mind. Businesses also should be able to decide when they want to open and close.
Also, fairness – almost everyone who sees beer and wine available for purchase in stores on Sundays agree it’s senseless that they can’t also buy liquor.
So this would be a state law but each county gets its own choice?
Exactly. The state-wide law would simply let each county’s voters decide if liquor stores can open on Sundays. That’s how it works with beer and wine Sunday sales, and even though many counties have voted to approve Sunday sales of beer and wine, other county’s voters have not. The important part is the state legislature gives each county’s voters a say.
When can this happen?
The state legislature could pass the new rule in 2023. Legislation is being debated which would allow voters to decide if liquor stores can be open on Sundays.
How can I support this effort?
You can fill out a simple form at LetSCDecide.org to join our coalition, Cheers! Let SC Decide. From there, we will keep you updated on our progress and how you can help. One of the best ways to help is to email your legislator directly through this website to let them know you want to be able to vote on Sunday liquor sales in your county. You can also tell your friends, neighbors and colleagues about this, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share our website on social media.
Do you require any money?
No! It costs nothing to be part of this coalition – we just want your support to join the overwhelming majority of South Carolinians who support this kind of simple, sensible, fair legislation.