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Virginia ABC liquor stores to start Sunday sales

Monday - 6/18/2012, 4:03pm  ET

ABC.jpg
A hostess at tasting event at a Richmond ABC store. (Photo courtesy of Va. ABC)

WASHINGTON - It's going to get easier to buy booze every day of the week in Virginia as a new law allows a growing number of liquor stores to throw open their doors on Sundays.

Starting July 1, a new Virginia law will allow most stores controlled by the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control department to sell alcohol on Sundays. The law extends to more than 200 ABC stores that are blocked under current law because they're in small communities.

Currently, Virginia ABC stores in communities with populations of 100,000 or more are already permitted Sunday sales between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Local ordinances could still keep some liquor stores closed.

In Maryland, the Sunday closing laws vary depending on the jurisdiction. Montgomery County, for example, began allowing Sunday service at all of the county-run liquor stores in 2010. In Prince George's County, however, delegates have voted against Sunday liquor sales.

Beer and wine can be purchased on Sundays in the District, but the city continues to ban Sunday sale of spirits. The city council could soon change that.

D.C. City Councilman Jim Graham, D-Ward 1, has raised the possibility of introducing a bill that would end the city's ban on Sunday liquor sales.

Some D.C. liquor store owners oppose the measure, believing it might not boost sales but simply spread them out over seven days.

WTOP's Dick Uliano contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)