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Sale of Alcohol on Sunday or Christmas in Detroit, Michigan

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Updated December 05, 2012

Christmas festivities are often celebrated with spirits and at least some spiked eggnog. In fact, work Christmas parties are usually the perfect venue for someone to drink too much and regret their table dancing the next morning. For years and years, however, the State of Michigan made holiday reveling something of a challenge under its Blue Law that banned alcohol sales from 9 PM on Christmas Eve until 7 AM on December 26th. The same law banned alcohol sales before noon on Sundays.

History of Michigan's Blue Law

It's tempting to assume the law was one of those hold overs from either Prohibition or the 19th century, when several states legislated to protect Sundays and Christmas Day for church attendance; but Michigan's most recent ban (aka blue law) was enacted in 1998 and amended several times since then with no leeway at all regarding Christmas. Note: Alcohol wasn't the only prohibition back then. According to Wikipedia.org, several states also prohibited the playing of baseball and fixing of wagon wheels on Sundays.

2010 Amendment

The state finally saw the light in 2010 (so to speak) and the alcohol ban on Sunday mornings and Christmas was lifted, at least for the most part. These days, Sunday is treated like any other day during the week (with the only ban regarding alcohol sales from 2 AM to 7 AM), and you're good to go all day on Christmas Eve and after noon on Christmas Day - if your community hasn't opted out of the looser time restrictions.

Exceptions

The new amendment allows communities to "opt out" of the looser time restrictions regarding alcohol sales by passage of resolution. So far, the Metro-Detroit communities that chose to opt out of the looser time restrictions have only banned the sale of spirits and mixed drinks on Sunday mornings:

  • Oakland County: Leonard Village (no AM) and Royal Oak Township (No AM)
  • Washtenaw: Freedom Township (No AM)
  • Wayne: Garden City (No AM)

Sundays

As long as the local city, village, township or county doesn't opt out (thereby banning sales of spirits in the morning or for the entire day), alcohol can be sold from 7 AM on Sunday until 2 AM on Monday, but a special permit is required. The state keeps an interactive map so that you can check whether your local watering hole has obtained such a permit. Note: The sale of beer and wine on Sunday doesn't require a special permit.

Holidays

Christmas: You can now buy alcohol on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Alcohol sales are only prohibited until noon on Christmas Day, unless your city, township, village or county has opted out under the new law. No special permit is required.

New Years: Spirits and mixed drinks may now be sold for on-site consumption until 4 AM on New Year's Day. No special permit is required.

More Information:

Public Act 213 (2010)

2012 Holiday Hours / Michigan Liquor Control Commission
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