Idaho Lawmakers Consider Changing Liquor Sales Rules

COUER D'ALENE, Idaho - While many states including Idaho are struggling to balance their budgets, Idaho's state liquor division says keeping its doors open longer would mean an extra $2.2 Million in revenue annually.

Idaho's state-run liquor stores have seen a 40-percent spike in sales in the last five years. Last fiscal year, it made $47 Million in profit. The state liquor division credits population growth and more choice from manufacturers for the monetary boom.

Now a plan is being discussed in Boise to extend hours and even have stores open on holidays.

?It comes down to are you going to sacrifice people's morals over the mighty dollar," Coeur d?Alene resident Den said. ?I don't think that's a good idea. There's already enough encouragement for people drinking and driving during the holidays. I think it's a great idea that they're closed on Sundays, which is the day you celebrate the lord.?

"I think that wouldn't go over too well, I think they have sufficient hours for operating,? Coeur d?Alene resident Lucas Jagger said.

Under the proposal, stores statewide would stay open for two extra hours until 9 p.m. They'd also open on holidays like New Year?s Day and the Fourth of July and maybe even on Sundays.

Idaho state law currently bans liquor sales on Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If state lawmakers approve the changes, the new hours of operation would kick in on July 1.