Bad economy may finally lead to Sunday liquor sales in N.C.

RALEIGH, N.C. — The liquor industry wants to make it legal for liquor stores and bars to sell booze on Sundays, a move that would erase one of the final remnants of the church-driven “blue laws” in North Carolina.

Legislation filed Tuesday would let cities and counties open their local Alcoholic Beverage Control stores and allow restaurants and bars to serve liquor on Sundays.

The recession is buoying the bill's prospects. The long-standing resistance to selling distilled spirits on Sunday may weaken in a state grasping for revenue. Gov. Bev Perdue proposed balancing next year's state budget partly on a higher alcoholic beverage tax. Liquor industry analysts project that North Carolina would get at least an additional $5.5 million in tax revenue by allowing sales on Sundays.

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