Off-premise liquor sales in D.C. could soon be offered on Sunday

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Ward 1 D.C. Council member Jim Graham said the District could shrink its fiscal year 2013 budget gap with an additional $710,000 in sales tax revenue by lifting a ban on selling hard liquor on Sundays. Hatchet File Photo

The District’s liquor stores could gain approval to sell hard alcohol on Sundays as part of an effort to shrink the budget gap for fiscal year 2013.

Ward 1 D.C. Council member Jim Graham announced plans Monday to recommend allowing stores with Class A liquor licenses – which sell soft and hard alcohol – to operate on Sundays, a move he said could generate an extra $710,000 in sales tax revenue, according to The Washington Post.

All liquor stores in the District are banned from selling hard alcohol on Sundays but the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration modified codes last summer to allow grocery stores and wholesalers that exclusively offer beer and wine to sell until midnight every day. All types of retailers still are barred from selling hard liquor on Sundays.

The recommendation comes a week after Graham held a town hall meeting to gauge input from D.C. residents and business owners on Mayor Vincent Gray’s proposed extension for alcohol sales at bars until 3 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. on weekends to bring in an additional $3.2 million in revenue.

Graham – who has voiced safety and noise concerns over the extension of bar hours and plans to vote against the proposal – said the revenue brought in from liquor sales on Sunday would go towards the gap in the budget if the increase in alcohol sale hours at bars gets killed.

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