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Blue laws may also prohibit retail activity on days such as Sunday.
Maine was the last New England state to repeal laws that prohibited department stores from opening on Sundays.Many goods and items are restricted from being sold between midnight and noon on Sunday, rendering virtually all retailers closed in those hours, including malls and some large retail chains (though it is open Sundays before noon only between Thanksgiving & Christmas Eve); however, some businesses that open 24 hours, like grocery stores, are allowed to be open on Sunday. Prior to 1967, the law was stricter in that all businesses were closed from 12 a.m. The changes were made after a 1966 blizzard, after which citizens were not able to purchase some needed goods and services due to the blue law.The law changed once more in 1991 to allow businesses to open at noon on Sunday.Since 1992, alcohol sales have been allowed statewide from the Sunday prior to Thanksgiving until New Year's Day. The only exception to this rule is New Year's Day, in which case alcohol sales are permitted until 4 a.m.In both exceptions sales were not allowed before noon. Alcohol sales were likewise banned on Sunday until 12 p.m., and on Christmas from 12 a.m. Liquor stores are not required to be open on Sundays, but those who choose to do so are restricted to the hours of 11 AM and 6 PM.It is illegal to sell packaged liquor (off-premises sales) on Sundays.Sales also are prohibited on New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.Most off-premises alcohol sales were not permitted on Sundays until 2004.Exceptions were made in 1990 for municipalities that were within 10 miles of the New Hampshire or Vermont border.Establishments within 200 feet of a church or school may obtain a beer and wine license.North Dakota may have the strictest remaining blue law of the United States. In 1967, changes more clearly defined which businesses were exempt such as pharmacies, hospitals and restaurants.