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Friday, May 6, 2016

Dumb and Dumber Drinking Laws

You can't be happy in Indiana, Vermont,
and several other states
 In the land of states' rights, Puritans, and lobbyists we run into some wacky laws--drinking laws included. Here are just a few of the things your state legislature is doing to you. Along with strict liquor laws come higher prices.

 There are still dry counties in parts of the South and Bible Belt Midwest. Some of the wet counties allow you to buy bottles of liquor; others are by the drink only. What to get a six-pack on a Sunday? Not in some states.

 Confused yet? It gets worse. And this is just a small sampling. Enjoy reading with your favorite adult beverage.

  Statewide the laws are mostly normal, but in America's party town of New Orleans pretty much anything goes. Bars can be open 24/7. There are drive-thru bars.
  However, stealing someone's crawfish or alligator can get you up to ten years of hard labor.

  Settled by Puritans 400 years ago you'd think those beliefs would be gone by now. Well no, as there aren't any drink specials or happy hour for you because it'll turn you into a witch or something.
  Speaking of Puritans, MA still has a law on the books saying the woman can't be on top during sex.

  They know where their income is from so bars can be open 24 hours, you can buy alcohol pretty much anywhere, and public drunkenness is just fine. In Vegas open containers are okay, but prostitution is not--this confuses many visitors.
  In the counties where prostitution is legal you'll be happy to know there can't be a brothel within 400 yards of a school.

  Where the Bible Belt and protectionism run through the state's fabric you can only pick up 3.2% lightweight beer in convenience stores. If you want real beer you go to a state store where you can only buy it at room temp. No cold beer because you might drink and drive on the way home (drinking 3.2% beer and driving is apparently okay). How does this work out? OK ranks near the top in drunk driving.
  Oklahoma has passed a law to allow bars at gun ranges -- makes sense.

  Alcohol sales are under tight state control. PA is where the bureaucrats thought it was a good idea to have wine vending machines where you have to blow into a blood alcohol detector before purchasing. In some types of stores you can only buy up to 12 beers; in others that's the minimum purchase.
  College sororities beware: More than 16 women living in a house is illegal as it's considered a bordello.

  In counties where you can buy hard liquor you can't buy your favorite mixer in the same store. Guess you'll have to drink your whiskey straight while you drive to a store selling vermouth.
  Tennessee does, however, have an official state rifle--a 50 caliber sniper's weapon (it's made in TN and something the locals can be proud of, I guess).

  You can only take three sips of beer while standing. So, no chugging. Not a good place to go to college. However, if say, you are over 21, but your spouse is under 21 they can get a drink as long as you are with them. Not sure if this applies to gay couples in TX. Your kids can drink, too, as long as you are nearby so what could go wrong?
  In case you were thinking of running for public office in TX to help change some of these laws you must acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being before you can run.

  You knew Utah would be on the list. Where there are Mormons it's tougher to get a drink than a second wife. And can you imagine have several wives and not being able to drink? Beer over 3.2% is considered the hard stuff and is even more difficult to find. In a restaurant the bartender can't pour or mix a drink where you can see them--only Joseph Smith knows why this law is on the books. Of course, no happy hours, no kegs, no ordering a drink at a restaurant until you have food on the table.
  Pity the poor (and few) wineries in Utah. A certain part of the tasting area can be for sampling; another part for retail bottle sales. The two can't cross. Kids can only be on the sales side but cannot touch a wine bottle because, no doubt, it's a straight path to hell from there! Tasting rooms aren't open on Sundays or holidays.
  If you do figure out a way to get drunk in Utah just know that the husband is responsible for any criminal act committed by his wife in his presence.

Here in Sonoma County
  California is fairly liberal on drinking laws though open containers, DUI and underage drinking is strictly prohibited. One exception is that open containers are allowed in the Sonoma town square. I've seen plenty of visitors who think drinking must be okay anywhere since there are winery tasting rooms all over. I have seen open containers in vehicles in Napa Valley more than once and they weren't trying to hide it.
  BTW, if you're going to buy beer or wine from a gas station quickie mart in California they can't sell it from an ice tub.