In just less a year since the law creating Sunday morning liquor licenses went into effect, nearly 6,000 Michigan liquor stores have forked over $160 for licenses to open shop early.
The law allows liquor to be sold beginning at 7 a.m. on Sundays, rather than the standard 12 p.m. It had businesses open early starting on Dec. 19, 2010, in many, but not all, Michigan communities. The state has already received $950,000 in revenue from the new licenses.
The law also makes it possible for local governments to opt out of early Sundays, which several cities, including Flint, Commerce Township, Albion and Garden City, have chosen to do.
A flaw in the original bill made it necessary for communities to choose to allow businesses to open early or force them to close altogether on Sundays. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission didn't enforce this provision, and Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill fixing the disparity in May, so communities and businesses can still choose to keep their liquor sales start time at noon.
Detroit residents shouldn't be hard-pressed to find a liquor store when they need one -- every Detroit resident lives within 0.7 miles of a liquor store or bar. Mapping the Strait did a little math to find that in 2009 in Michigan, Detroit had the most liquor licenses per resident, with 810 liquor stores and 560 bars in city limits.