Proposal aims to extend Sunday alcohol sales

Posted at: 02/02/2013 6:03 PM
Updated at: 02/02/2013 6:34 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A New Mexico bill is one step closer to becoming law. It would allow alcohol sales to start earlier on Sundays.

The bill’s sponsor calls is a “good business bill” that would increase tourist dollars.

The house brew brings in the crowd seven days a week at Nexus Brewery in Northeast Albuquerque.

But there’s a small hangup when football fans come in Sunday mornings.

"We usually have a few people come in around 11 o'clock to see the game but we can't serve liquor til 12 o'clock," said owner Ken Carson.

New Mexico Senate Bill 154 would change that.

It would allow licensed bars in restaurants, hotels, ski resorts and race tracks to serve alcohol starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays instead of 12 noon.

"I look forward to it. I think it's a good bill. And it's something that we need," said Carson.

"I don't think we need to have alcohol being served in the mornings on Sunday,” said Randy Mascorella of Albuquerque. “I think we have enough of alcohol-related issues in our state. That's just adding one more to the list is just not something I'd be in favor of."

The bill’s author, Republican Sen. John Ryan, argues if the bill passes it would have a big impact on local businesses during the busiest times of the year in New Mexico like Balloon Fiesta.

"I live in California so we drink all the time there. So, but it doesn't matter to me,” said Edward Mieszerski Jr.

"It's not a bad thing that at least one day a week to wait til noon to start,” said Pat Ward of Albuquerque. “But if it increases the sales that's good, but if it increases the problems that's bad."

“Well, as an adult over 21 I should feel free to have a drink whenever I want and I don't need the state to tell me when I should and should not drink," exclaimed Edward Mieszerski Sr.

No matter the outcome of SB 154, Nexus Brewery says it’ll continue to enforce a three beer limit.

"If you start earlier you're still going to be able to do three beers with us," said Carson.

The bill passed its first committee hearing. It now goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee for a vote.