Thursday, August 8, 2013

Indiana's Ridiculous Blue Laws

Earlier this week, I did some grocery shopping at a nearby Kroger. Among my items was a six pack of one of my favorite local beers. I finish my shopping, get in a check out line, and things seem to be going fine so far. Finally, it is my turn, and the cashier spots my beer. She seems to be frozen with fear (!!) as if something horrible has happened. She signals to her manager and explains to me that, since she is under age, she can't scan the beer herself. And then we sit and wait.

I ask if she can at least scan everything else until then, and she starts to until her manager steps over.

And her manager, with her magical manager powers of being some state-ordained age to sell me a package of room temperature beer, scans the item.

Didn't even have to be on a separate transaction.

So the under age cashier can scan everything except the beer, collect payment for everything including the beer, she can even touch the beer by putting it into a bag or loading it into my cart, she just can't scan it across the bar code reader.

Y'know, even when I disagree with one of the ridiculous blue laws within the Indiana Code, I can at least find the logical justification. Cold beer is an exclusive to liquor stores due to lobbyists. Keeping liquor stores so many feet away from places such as school is to keep criminal activity away.

But what's the possible justification of this one, where a cashier can't scan but can collect payment for beer, liquor, and wine?


  1. Nice story. You obviously weren't doing your grocery shopping on Sunday, otherwise this wouldn't have happened at all!

  2. Very true, EP!

    I've often said Sunday sales are much more important than the cold beer sales that is currently getting media attention. We folks in the urban centers and in college towns are spoiled. We've got an adequate number of bars, breweries, and wineries to buy from on Sunday. Out in rural Indiana, they might only have a handful of gas stations, grocery, or convenience stores to buy from and unless they're near the border, they're SOOL until Monday.

  3. I think you're likely talking about the policy of the store rather than state law. I don't think you have to be 21 to legally ring up alcohol sales in a store. I think you only have to be 18 or possibly 19. Of course there are people working in stores that are younger than 18.

  4. I know we disucssed this already on Facebook, but if it's a store policy, it must be a widely held one. I've witnessed the same thing happen at different grocery chains as well.

  5. 905 IAC 1-15.3-1 Employees between eighteen (18) and twenty-one (21) years of age
    Authority: IC 7.1-2-3-7
    Affected: IC 7.1-5
    Sec. 1. A minor eighteen (18) years of age or older employed at a licensed premises may ring up a sale of alcoholic beverages
    in the course of his employment, provided that at the time the sale is rung up, there is at least one (1) other employee on the licensed
    premises who is:
    (1) twenty-one (21) years of age or older; and
    (2) responsible for supervising said minor.
    (Alcohol and Tobacco Commission; 905 IAC 1-15.3-1; filed Feb 20, 1991, 5:05 p.m.: 14 IR 1444; readopted filed Oct 4, 2001, 3:15
    p.m.: 25 IR 941; readopted filed Sep 18, 2007, 3:42 p.m.: 20071010-IR-905070191RFA)


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