A study is being passed around at the Capitol that supposedly shows an increase in DUI’s and fatal automobile crashes:
The first study, published in the online version of the American Journal of Public Health, found a 29 percent increase in alcohol-related crashes and a 42 percent increase in alcohol-related crash (ARC) fatalities on Sundays since New Mexico lifted its ban on Sunday sales of packaged alcohol.
The second study, published in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, found the impacts of legalized Sunday alcohol sales varied greatly by county, with one county experiencing a two-fold increase in alcohol-related crashes once the ban was lifted. When the statewide ban was lifted in 1995, New Mexico’s legislation gave local jurisdictions the option of holding elections to disallow Sunday sales in their community. Three communities reinstituted the ban on Sunday sales immediately after the statewide ban was lifted. The jump in Sunday alcohol-related crash rates that was observed statewide was eliminated in the counties occupied by these three communities. The study also found that counties with older populations suffered a greater negative impact from legalized Sunday alcohol sales.
Legalizing sales on Sunday is no different than any other day. Alcohol can potentially kill anyone on any day of the week, pointing out statistics for one day is pointless. The risk is there at any point in time. If that is the argument, then sales should be banned at all times.
Another study from the National Bureau of Economic Research shows the following:
Many states have repealed these laws in recent years, raising the opportunity cost of religious participation. We construct a model which predicts, under fairly general conditions, that allowing retail activity on Sundays will lower attendance levels but may increase or decrease religious donations. We then use a variety of datasets to show that when a state repeals its blue laws religious attendance falls, and that church donations and spending fall as well. These results do not seem to be driven by declines in religiosity prior to the law change, nor do we see comparable declines in membership or giving to nonreligious organizations after a state repeals its laws. We then assess the effects of changes in these laws on drinking and drug use behavior in the NLSY. We find that repealing blue laws leads to an increase in drinking and drug use, and that this increase is found only among the initially religious individuals who were affected by the blue laws.
That’s interesting and ironic.
If the repeal of blue laws were really causing a significant increase in public endangerment, states would be trying to put them back in place. Currently only three states still use the puritanical laws (Georgia, Indiana and Connecticut).
If Republicans in the State Senate truly believe in less government, personal responsibility and the free market…then they’d allow the voters to decide whether they want Sunday sales.