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 his or her table dancing the next morning. For many years, however, the state of Michigan made holiday reveling something of a challenge under its Blue Law. This law banned alcohol sales from 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve until 7 a.m. on December 26.
The same law banned alcohol sales before noon on Sundays.
For those who are visiting Michigan and plan to purchase alcohol to drink at a restaurant or to take home, you'll want to learn a little about the state's Blue Law.
History of Michigan's Blue Law
It's tempting to assume the law was one of those holdovers from either Prohibition or the 19th century, when several states legislated to protect Sundays and Christmas Day for church attendance, but Michigan's current ban (aka "Blue Law") was enacted in 1998 and has been amended several times since then with no leeway at all regarding Christmas.
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 to 7 a.m.), and you're good to go all day on Christmas Eve and the afternoon of Christmas Day, that is if your community hasn't opted out of the looser time restrictions.
Exceptions to Michigan's Blue Law
The 2010 amendment allows communities to "opt out" of the looser time restrictions regarding alcohol sales by the passage of this resolution. The metro Detroit communities that initially 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 a.m.) and Royal Oak Township (no a.m.)
- Washtenaw: Freedom Township (no a.m.)
- Wayne: Garden City (no a.m.)
Sales of Alcohol on 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 a.m. on Sunday until 2 a.m. 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.)
Sales of Alcohol on Holidays
- Christmas: You can 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 2010 amendment. No special permit is required.
- New Year's: Spirits and mixed drinks may be sold for on-site consumption until 4 a.m. on New Year's Day. No special permit is required.
More Information on Michigan's Blue Law
Read more about Michigan's Public Act 213 (2010).