By: Sharon Aron Baron
Having company over and would like beer or wine for lunch on Sunday? Maybe you’re heading to a tailgate party and need to stock up before the game. Well, forget about buying these items in the City of Tamarac because our antiquated ordinance forbids retailers and restaurants from selling or serving alcohol before noon on Sunday.
Sunday Blue Laws
Blue laws are laws designed to restrict or ban some or all Sunday activities for religious standards, particularly the observance of a day of worship or rest. Since they fall on a Sunday, this consideration was not given to Jewish people since their day of worship is on a Saturday.
In the United States, the U.S. Supreme Court have held blue laws as constitutional numerous times due to secular rationales, even though the origin of the blue laws were for religious purposes. Most blue laws have been repealed in the United States, although there are a few states that still ban the sale of alcoholic beverage on Sundays.
Blue Laws are Part of Tamarac’s Ordinances
Sec. 3-2. – Sunday sales “The sale of all alcoholic beverages for consumption, either on or off premises, on Sunday is prohibited from 2:01 a.m. to 12:00 noon, local time. For the purpose of this section, the term “alcoholic beverage” is that term set forth within F.S. chapter 561.”
Florida doesn’t even have a State law restricting alcohol sales on Sunday, and if you are familiar with the makeup of Tamarac, not all of our residents are Christian, so this archaic law should not have to apply to them.
Cities that Loosened Restrictions
The City of Coral Springs gave preliminary approval to lift the ban on early morning alcohol sales this month. The proposed law will allow for sales as early as 7 a.m., instead of the current noon. Final vote will be November 25.
The Town of Davie decided to loosen restrictions on Sundays back in 2013. They changed the law so that grocery stores, convenient stores and gas stations could start selling alcohol at 7 a.m. Sundays. According to the Sun Sentinel, in October 2013, Broward County commissioners approved a law that allows restaurants and bars at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to begin selling alcohol Sundays at 8 a.m., instead of noon.
“Obviously I think it hurts businesses, and I don’t think it stops anyone’s ability to buy alcohol,” said Walter Morris, resident of Spyglass. “We’re trying to encourage business and obviously they are affected by it. I also don’t see why anyone’s Christian values should be able to be imposed on anyone else.”
Sunday Blue laws are up to local governments to regulate, and if you are a believer of separation of Church and State, then tell our elected officials that it’s time to repeal this archaic, law.