Bill would make earlier sale of liquor legal

AUGUSTA —  Legislation proposed by Rep. Paul Gilbert, D-Jay, would make it easier for "Joe Six Pack" to pick up that rack of cold ones on his way home.

That's the idea behind a bill allowing those who sell alcohol to start an hour earlier than they currently can. It means on most days those who sell alcohol for consumption off premise could open as early as 5 a.m.

Gilbert said the measure is in response to the changing hours of mill workers and others in his community who now often work 12-hour shifts. Gilbert said Thursday that the end of the work day for many comes in the early morning hours and it's no different than that of a person whose work day ends in the late afternoon.

"The idea was brought to me by a convenience store owner in Jay – they've been in business about 50 years in Jay," Gilbert said.

Gilbert said in years past the local mills worked three, 8-hour shifts, with the early-morning shift ending at 7 a.m. "So this wasn't an issue for them," Gilbert said.

But now the early-morning shift ends at 5 a.m. "This would help treat customers alike, no matter when they work."

The bill, LD 15, was tabled by the Legislature's Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee but only so it could be combined with other bills dealing with alcohol during this legislative session, committee members said.

Gilbert said he sensed there was very little opposition to the change, which basically expands the hours alcohol can be bought and or delivered legally by an hour a day.

Another part of the measure would extend the sale of alcohol to 2 a.m. on New Year's Day.  

Gilbert said he also believes the bill will be good for business because when people stop at the store they often buy more than just what they go in for.

He said some people have voiced concern that it would lead to more drinking and driving, but the bill doesn't change any of the laws around driving under the influence.

"We are talking about somebody who is getting out of work, they want to buy a six-pack of beer to bring home, and they will be able to do that," Gilbert said.

One other bill working its way through the Legislature would make it legal to purchase alcohol earlier in the day on Sunday, if that Sunday is St. Patrick's Day —  as it is this year.

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Jim Cyr's picture

Liquor is legal !

Why the time constraints? Just another road block for free enterprise and democracy ! Big Brother at their best, regulate, regulate, regulate ! Control, control, control !

Steve  Dosh's picture

Bill would make earlier sale of liquor legal

Mainers, 13.02.14 14:30
You go Oxford Plains Casinos !
Check your guns at the door, gamblers :)
24 x 7 x 365
Now , †hink and drive •
Alo'ha from Pahoa . ... /s, Steve

KRIS KUCERA's picture

Jim Morrison approves this message.

Well, I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer.
Well, I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer.
The future's uncertain, and the end is always near.
Let it roll, baby, roll.
Let it roll, baby, roll.
Let it roll, baby, roll.
Let it roll . . . all night long.

Steve  Dosh's picture

. ..l o l Kris , Riders on

. ..l o l Kris ,
Riders on the Storm " Brain swerving like a toad . ..."
Always remember , " You are ne'vah as think as you drunk u r ."
You can quote me on that , too ?  /s, Steve Happy \/ - Day

KRIS KUCERA's picture


It's not just for breakfast anymore.

Or as the Germans call it, liquid bread.

Back at ya, Doc. Prost!


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