r/todayilearned 6d ago

TIL dry counties (counties where the sale of alcohol is banned) have a drunk driving fatality rate about 3.6 times higher than wet counties. (R.5) Omits Essential Info

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_county#Traveling_to_purchase_alcohol
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u/Cliff_Doctor 6d ago

I used to go on climbing trips to northern Arkansas in a dry county. You had to drive only 20 or so minutes down some of the most crooked dangerous roads I had ever been on to get to a liquor store in a not dry county. I always wonder how many people died making that beer run with a buzz.

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u/Everything80sFan 6d ago

When I was stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base, I thought it was the weirdest thing having a military base in the middle of a dry county. You could buy alcohol on the base but if you went off base, you had to drive 20 minutes away to Sherwood or Cabot.

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u/Zyoman 6d ago

So air force is not subject to counties laws?

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u/Cromslor_ 6d ago

Nope, it's federal land.

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u/coly8s 6d ago edited 6d ago

The one weird exception to that rule was Andrews AFB in MD. It is in Prince Georges county. While it may have changed, when I was stationed there they would sell beer and wine but not hard alcohol. The reason why was because Mike Miller was President of the Maryland State Senate and happened to own BK Miller’s which was the nearest liquor store to the base. He threatened to have military members cars searched and arrested if found to have liquor bottles without a Maryland tax stamp on them. The base acquiesced to his demands and didn’t sell hard liquor except by the drink in the clubs on base. It was dirty politics at its best. Edit: typo

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u/SoylentJelly 6d ago

You should put this in the Wikipedia for Andrew's for future generations to find

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u/TheGreatHieronymus 6d ago

There was a city not far from me that was dry. A family member of mine happened to own three liquor stores just outside the city limits. You’d literally cross over the municipal lines and you’d be at his store.

Anywho, every five years or so, a proposal to reverse the city’s prohibition on alcohol would make its way to the city council. It’s a pretty known fact in my family that this man would wine and dine the city council before every vote, lining their pockets and generally making their lives great. And so the city stayed dry for decades this way, with his wheeling and dealing. And he made a pretty penny from the arrangement. He has since passed away but yeah, local politics can be just as dirty.

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u/tanto_von_scumbag 6d ago

He threatened to have military members cars searched and arrested if found to have liquor bottles without a Maryland tax stamp on them.

What? That doesn't sound even remotely legal. This isn't like weed where crossing state lines can make a nickel bag into a felony. We're literally talking about a legal substance that the sale of is prohibited during particular time frames within a specific area. But if you purchased it on Federal land, you can't impose a law saying you can't cross state lines with it in tow.

Between the obvious conflict of interest and the serious infringement on the separation of powers, this just seems like bullshit.

Also, he looks like a batman villain with less class.

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u/IrishWithoutPotatoes 6d ago

Military bases aren’t. Like here in Texas, you can’t buy hard liquor on a Sunday, but if you go on base at Fort Hood you can buy it (the assumption is that the only ones able to access it are soldiers, spouses, or military contracted civilians). It’s kinda cool for things like the super bowl if you realize you forgot something.

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u/BradMarchandsNose 6d ago

Also no sales tax. I’m not sure if the state of Texas has sales tax, but in states that do, the military bases don’t have it.

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u/IrishWithoutPotatoes 6d ago

Yup! Which is why prices at things like the PX are sometimes kinda weird because they don’t throw tax in there.

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u/cjm0 6d ago

texas has a sales tax and an additional tax on alcohol. no income tax though

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u/Sabatorius 6d ago

Actually contractors aren’t allowed to buy booze at the class six. Only GS civilians. Source: me, getting denied my precious booze.

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u/RslashPolModsTriggrd 6d ago

Yup, no booze no tobacco, but buy all the energy drinks and beef jerky you'd like!

I also thought contractors weren't supposed to be allowed to get gas but I have never seen that enforced. They'd probably make significantly less $$$ if they did.

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u/rattalouie 6d ago edited 6d ago

Like here in Texas, you can’t buy hard liquor on a Sunday

It always astonishes me how closely tied to religion your country's laws are.

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u/IrishWithoutPotatoes 6d ago

Alcohol laws are determined by each state, so they can get kinda strange. Like down in Texas I can’t buy hard liquor at a grocery store but when I go back home to Washington I can walk into basically any supermarket and buy whatever I want.

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u/navard 6d ago

Here in NH you have to buy your liquor from state run liquor stores. No private liquor stores at all. My mind was blown the first time I went to Michigan.

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u/IrishWithoutPotatoes 6d ago

Washington used to be like that, and after my freshman year of college they changed it and it was WILD. Walmart prices never looked so good lol

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u/RacerX10 6d ago

dry Pope county, AR checking in. We feel ya.

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u/SkullysBones 6d ago

I've lived in Pope County (Dover) and White County (Searcy), both dry, both long hauls to the first town in a wet county (Blackwell for Dover, Augusta for Searcy). Augusta makes its living on Watermelons and ticketing people speeding into town to hit the liquor store because it is almost an hour round trip.

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u/turtlestrainc 6d ago

Grew up in Independence County (Batesville) we had a guy on the west side that would sell us 12 packs of Corona for 20 bucks. Later I heard some dumb kid stole all his beer because he thought he wouldn't go to the police about it. He did.

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u/almisami 6d ago

To be fair, he most likely has evidence of the theft, but you most likely have no record of him having sold alcohol to a minor...

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u/osya77 6d ago

Reminds me of an old Russian ancedote.

A son runs to his father and says "Papa I saw Ivan making vodka!"

The father answers "Yes, I know"

"Shouldn't we report him?" The son asks.

"Son where do you think we get our vodka?" The father replies.

"But won't we get in trouble if the cops find out we did not report Ivan?" The son asks more worried.

The father laughs and says "Son where do you think the cops get their vodka?"

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u/Spindrune 6d ago

A father works in a sewing machine factory.

Everyday he steal a few pieces to make his wife a sewing machine at home, but after dozens of attempts, he’s only managed to make a kalachsnikov.

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u/SinCorpus 6d ago

I'd get it one piece at a time And it wouldn't cost me a dime You'd know it's me when I come through your town I'm going to ride around in style I'm going to drive everybody wild Because I'll have the only one there is around

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u/turtlestrainc 6d ago

Correct. The kid wasn't the smartest cookie in the jar.

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u/OzMountainMan 6d ago

I used to live in Searcy and go to school in Little Rock. I paid for my gas plus some fun money by smuggling back alcohol to the Harding kids.

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u/SkullysBones 6d ago

I heard a rumor that Searcy issued like 10 liquor license a year, but Harding over paid for all of them to prevent establishments in town from serving. In my last year there (2018) many of the resturants began serving booze if you were a registered member of the establishment; I was a member of the Colton's Steakhouse for like the last 2 months I lived there. Basically the city was having problems drawing qualified workers to the hospital system because no one wants to live in a dry county (is what I heard in town).

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u/OzMountainMan 6d ago

You're right on both counts. The churches owned the most I think. I can't recall where, but you can see who owns them online I think.

The VFW was our place to go in the early 2010s.

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u/mamsorris1 6d ago

The VFW was our place to go in the early 2010s.

We may have been friends.

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u/OzMountainMan 6d ago

Right on. One love. Hope you're doing well and have moved out of Searcy.

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u/No-Pound-2088 6d ago

Lived in Searcy AR for 18 years before moving to Alaska. Can confirm your suspicions.

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u/Wonkybonky 6d ago

Gee, it's almost like legislating from a moralistic standpoint does nothing to prevent what your morals dictate as wrong. Fascinating! I feel so badly for people who have to deal with that.. :(

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u/GelComb 6d ago

I think all legislating is done from a moralistic standpoint. You know, murder being illegal, rape, fraud, etc. Those are all things we've judged to be morally wrong, so we ban them.

The difference here is that alcohol consumption is a pretty controversial moral subject, where a lot of people think its wrong and a lot of people don't. But things like murder, 99.9% of people agree it's morally wrong.

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u/BreezeDisagrees 6d ago

Yes officer, that's the man right there!

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u/Dalebssr 6d ago

You can make a killing in Alaska, where a bottle of Yukon Jack can go for $200.

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u/[deleted] 6d ago

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u/OzMountainMan 6d ago

The churches and county line liquor stores always form an unholy alliance when wet initiatives pop up. I believe it.

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u/bilbobobbins2112 6d ago

My suburb of Chicago’s mayor is the head of the town liquor board, as well, self-appointed. If you don’t use the fire systems company he and his brother (the fire department chief) own, to install your fire systems and extinguishers, you end up waiting months for a liquor hearing to ultimately be denied a license. If you use his company for extinguishers and sprinkler inspections, 3 days from application to approval.

Guess whose sister owns 80% of the bars in town.

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u/esocharis 6d ago

I lived in Russellville back in the 90s/early 00's and some form of this rumor was around even then. I don't know about the city council, but definitely the owners of the liquor stores and church leaders team up to defeat any bill that would make Pope County wet.

I can tell you though, that's its a lot better than it used to be. When I lived there Cagles Mill and the supper club were the only places to get a legal drink in town. Now there's more than just those 2 at least, even if you still can't grab a quick sixer at the gas station.

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u/Watermelencholy 6d ago

Idiots what are they thinking. Prohibition Didnt work the first time, did they think it would work on a smaller scale?

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u/oced2001 6d ago

Idiots what are they thinking.

Jesus

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u/OutlyingPlasma 6d ago

Jesus

You mean the dude who made a name for himself by turning water into wine?

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u/oced2001 6d ago

My church said the Bible is the literally word of God. But when they said Jesus turned water into wine, but when it says wine, they really mean grape juice.

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u/FuzzySockmonster 6d ago

"Wine didn't mean the same thing back then" is what I got.

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u/oced2001 6d ago

The Bible is literal, until it says something I don't like, then it means something else.

That was the lesson that I learned.

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u/TriggerWarning595 6d ago

I’m Christian and I’m still amazed how many people gloss over that “He who throws the first stone part”

Jesus literally tells us to not run around punishing people in one of the most important parts of the Bible. Yet it was still mostly Christians who wanted gay conversion camps and a war on drugs

I wish more Christians actually followed Christ instead of acting like God’s special punishment task force

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u/dudemo 6d ago

Went to a Catholic school growing up. With nuns and the whole works. I learned a LOT about the Bible. But most of all what I learned is that the Bible is not the word of the Lord when it is being taught by nuns.

It is the word of the Lord with the nuns perspective. Disagreeing with this resulted in being thumped with whatever the nun had near. To this day I cringe when I see a wooden ruler, a chalkboard eraser, and cricket bats.

I legitimately still have a scar on my knuckle from a wooden ruler with one of those metal straight edges.

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u/almisami 6d ago

Yeah, I got in trouble in first grade Catholic school. Nun hit me with a ruler, so I bit one of her fingers to the bone. I went to a regular school after that.

I can't believe children and their parents just accept this. I would have gone absolutely feral going through this every day.

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u/mrpeabodyscoaltrain 6d ago

I heard a sermon once during youth night that at the wedding at Cana, when the host says "the best wine," they mean unfermented wine because in some other contemporary sources unfermented wine was most highly thought of. However, the great J. Vernon McGee of "Thru the Bible" fame, is adamant that the wine must have been alcoholic. And, I'm certain that most of those folks at the wedding stayed hammered all week.

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u/Umutuku 6d ago

How you gonna be at a wedding for a week and not be hammered the entire time?

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u/seanc0x0 6d ago

Before sorbates and other preservatives were discovered, grape juice would be grape juice for like a day at most before fermentation would start. Traditional wine making doesn’t involve packets of yeast, it uses the natural yeasts found on grape skins. Highly unlikely it was anything but alcoholic.

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u/SardinesGivePower 6d ago

Went to college that was in a dry County until my Sophomore year. The thing is our small town and the small town next to us were in different counties. It was literally a 2 minute drive to get to the next County from campus. The first 2 stores in the other town obviously sold alcohol.

Just giving the other county that sweet sweet alcohol tax money just because the founders of my college (over a century ago) only agreed to fund the school if the county stayed dry.

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u/Astrium6 6d ago

My town used to be dry when it was founded, so people that wanted to drink made another town right up against the city limits with a small creek between them. All you had to do was walk across like a 50 ft. foot bridge and you could buy alcohol. They’re one town now but the concept is still great.

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u/SardinesGivePower 6d ago

I wonder if that's how the town next to us popped up. There is zero distinction or land between the towns. One stop light you're in one town, the next you're in the next town.

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u/theLULRUS 6d ago

I live in a state where recreational weed is illegal (Idaho) but I'm about 10-15 minutes from the Washington State line. First thing over the line is a dispensary. I'vw always wondered how much money that place makes. Seems like 90% of their business comes from Idaho. All that money could be funneled in to Idaho based businesses generating tax revenue for Idaho is instead is going out of the state because Idaho is too stupid to legalize and tax recreational weed.

Prohibition doesn't work, if people want something they'll just go get it and the government doesn't get a cut. Nothing says "conservative" like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

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u/SardinesGivePower 6d ago

Not because of prohibition, but Washington/Oregon border is similar with big ticket items because Oregon has no sales tax. Furniture and Appliance stores for days!

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u/Mujokan 6d ago

You could smell the whiskey burnin' down Copperhead Road.

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u/something224 6d ago

I did a corporate evaluation for a grocery chain in Arkansas. We went though a series of questions with the manager and I always asked about their liquor aisle.

Me: Where is the liquor aisle.

Manager: We don’t have one.

Me: Oh, I didn’t know blank county was dry.

Manager: It’s not.

Me:??

Manager: Ya, I know. The county has a set limit of liquor license they sold when they became a wet county.

Me: That’s different. Why doesn’t this chain buy one?

Manager: We tried. Turns out ALL of them were bought years ago by a couple of churches. Who don’t use them and only bought them so no one else could sell use them also.

This has been a quintessential Ozark story.

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u/Cliff_Doctor 6d ago

Those rat bastards

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u/[deleted] 6d ago

They prefer to be called Baptists.

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u/Cliff_Doctor 6d ago

Im sure they do

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u/Deodorized 6d ago

Separation of Church and State heckles you from a distance

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u/dropofkim 6d ago

Hello from Benton county. Now we are only dry on Sundays.

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u/UnwashedApple 6d ago

Don't Drink & Drive. You may spill your drink.

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u/IDontKnowWhatq 6d ago edited 6d ago

I’m guessing we went to the same area. Horseshoe canyon ranch. Literally on the county line there’s liquor stores

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u/ToadyWoady 6d ago

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch? Having to drive from there to near Harrison, AR (KKK central) for a beer run as a minority was a bit scary hahaha

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u/Cliff_Doctor 6d ago

Yup HCR is the place. I had no clue Harrison was KKK central but it makes sense Im a white bald guy so no one ever hassled me. Sorry you gotta deal with that shit it sucks

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u/HalusN8er 6d ago

I now live in Tennessee. When I moved here was the first time I had ever heard of “dry counties.” Then I found out that Jack Daniels whiskey is made in Lynchburg, TN which is in Moore county, which is a dry county. So, you cannot buy Jack Daniels where it is made. So silly.

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u/ecallawsamoht 6d ago edited 6d ago

I'm in Alabama, Lauderdale County specifically, and we have the most asinine liquor laws around.

Check this out, in my county we have 3 wet "cities", Florence, Rogersville, and St. Florian. Florence and St. Florian stop selling at 2:00 am, Rogersville on the other hand is 24 hours, unless it's Saturday night, then Rogersville stops at 12:00 am but the other two continue until 2:00 am. But they also have Sunday sales, whereas Rogersville does not, though they can resume sales at 12:01 am Monday morning where as Florence and St. Florian can only keep going to 2.

Oh and we just recently approved two more cities to go wet within the county. So now I can drive 7 miles East, 10 miles South, 10 miles West, or 7 miles North and buy all the booze I want. It's frustrating to say the least.

And though I'm definitely not proud, but yes there's been a very few times where I was like "shit I'm out of beer" and went the 7 miles to get more. If my county was wet, then I could have walked my happy ass 6 tenths of a mile to the store. So I can agree with said statistics.

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u/BrosenkranzKeef 6d ago

Why don't people just vote to make the county wet?

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u/redog 6d ago

Why don't people just vote to make the county wet?

I'm in Alabama

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u/BrosenkranzKeef 6d ago

Touche. I guess despite Ohio being largely conservative it's nowhere near as religious as the bible belt.

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u/ThenaCykez 6d ago

It's true that Ohio is slightly more secular than Alabama in general but specific religious doctrines matter too. Alabama is mostly Baptist and Methodist, which are Christian sects that discourage or prohibit all alcohol. Ohio has many more unaffiliated Christians, as well as Catholics and Lutherans, all of whom support alcohol in moderation.

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u/c_the_potts 6d ago

Catholics and Lutherans, all of whom support alcohol in moderation

I was part of a Catholic student org in my college days. One year an anniversary of some kind came up, so the adult advisors had the idea of celebrating it over parents weekend. They also had the idea of having an open bar. I don’t remember a whole lot of that evening if I’m being super honest.

We also had a priest (Franciscan, so very up-to-date on many things) who enjoyed bourbon and would reserve a couple tables at a local bar so everyone of age could do some tasting of various qualities and types of bourbon!

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u/Temporary-Peak 6d ago

TBF Catholics seem to encourage moderation and practice excess. The most Catholic countries I can think of (Italy, Spain, Mexico, Croatia, Ireland) are all the booziest.

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u/Bee-and-the-Slimes 6d ago edited 6d ago

Religious Good Old Boys, mostly. I lived in a dry county for years until they realized that the Brand New convention center couldn't serve beer/wine by the glass, so no one would probably ever book it. It passed pretty fast after that. Despite having whine/beer in grocery stores the hard liquor (unless you count the ridiculous amount of Moonshine places we have) is still a county over.

A local grocer moved in some years ago to my small uncorporated town and was threatened to be burned out (in not-so-many words) if they carried beer.

Wine and beer still can't be sold on Sundays.

I'm pretty sure (completely tinfoil hat, here) it's why Food City owns a huge plot of land down the street from my house and they've done nothing with it when they purchased it in 2010. Despite that they would make a fortune since the nearest Kroger is about 30 minutes away

It's like a fucking mafia family here.

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u/BrosenkranzKeef 6d ago

Surely they realize they're slowly killing these towns and the people in them, right? There's a reason most of the kids grow up and leave town. The leaders are running these towns into extinction and they're probably wondering why nobody wants to stay. Well, if they want to drive it into the ground then I guess that helps my voting demographic so fuck em.

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u/Fleraroteraro 6d ago

Oh the leaders know. They're there for personal enrichment. The good ol' boys club exists solely for two reasons: to make the good ol' boys some money, and to drive out or imprison the "wrong" kind of people.

The voters though, they'll tell you it's the principle of the matter. What principle? No one's really knows. "I don't care what your facts say about how Republican policies increase abortions and Democratic ones decrease it. It's the principle of the thing."

Source: born and raised in Alabama. Lived in rural areas all over.

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u/ecallawsamoht 6d ago

I want to say that a few years ago they tried to get it on the ballot but it didn't pass. Hell when Rogersville went wet, which is closest to me, it failed the first vote by less than 10 I believe, and then they snuck it on there again and I guess all of the NFL people didn't realize it was on there and it passed fairly easily. The first time there were so many signs about voting no all around town.

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u/BrosenkranzKeef 6d ago

Local politics is fascinating. I've never really had the small-town experience of personally knowing or being friendly with the people who are voting against something you really need.

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u/KP_Wrath 6d ago

Religious zealots: source, my county has been fighting to loosen restrictions forever. Church of Christ fucks us every time.

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u/kurizma 6d ago

when they're taking a break from the kiddos?

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u/SaintsPelicans1 6d ago

I moved from New Orleans to East TN. It was quite the change. I was used to walking around the streets with my drink haha.

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u/Jackal239 6d ago

My family is from Louisiana and my dad went out of town on business (can't remember where he went) and he walks up to the bar, gets a beer, and proceeds to try to walk outside. A few people actively stared daggers and as he got to the door he remembers forcibly being told "You can't go out there" and my dad is like "no it's cool, I am waiting for my table," not understanding that him walking outside with the beer was illegal.

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u/SaintsPelicans1 6d ago

That's funny because I did something very similar when I first got here. Had my drink and headed to go have a smoke and was told the same thing. Had to find a place that had a back patio.

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u/coyotebored83 6d ago

Imagine my surprise when I went to biloxi and almost got arrested just for being drunk in public. No open container, not causing issues. Cop just saw me drunk. I had no idea that was a thing.

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u/gwaydms 6d ago

You can at the distillery.

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u/hells_cowbells 6d ago

They must have changed that recently. When I toured it 10 or so years ago, they couldn't sell it at the distillery.

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u/ItsThatGuyAgain13 6d ago

The last time I visited, they got around that on a technicality - they couldn't just sell you a retail bottle of Jack, but they could sell you a 'novelty commemorative' bottle. I bought a bottle commemorating the 65th anniversary of them winning some sort of reward or another.

That's been about 15 years ago now. Wow, I didn't realize it'd been that long till I thought about it.

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u/hells_cowbells 6d ago

Now that I think about it, mine was probably around 15 years ago. I guess that's what I was thinking about with only being able to buy novelty bottles. I just remember the tour guide saying they couldn't sell bottles of it in the gift shop, but I suppose they were talking about retail stuff.

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u/Lord_Strudel 6d ago

I toured it more recently about 6-7 years ago and they did sell it at the distillery. The way they described it “we just sell the bottles, there just happens to be something inside” so the prohibition there is basically just a farce.

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u/LouSputhole94 6d ago edited 6d ago

It’s actually that they’re aren’t selling you the booze. They’re selling you a ticket to the distillery. That ticket just so happens to come with a free bottle of booze! That’s the “loophole”. Source: My uncle is a retired Jack Daniels master distiller.

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u/mmgvs 6d ago

I'd like to thank him for his service

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u/personalhale 6d ago

Jack Daniels has lobbied the local govt to keep it a dry county so you can only buy alcohol in their "gift" shop.

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u/TheKodachromeMethod 6d ago

I always wonder about what the specific laws are. In all of those Michigan counties, for example, you can buy beer and wine just about anywhere (Target, drug stores, gas stations) and booze at most grocery stores.

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u/etoiles-du-nord 6d ago

I was wondering the same thing because it shows my home country as dry, which it was not. Basically, the only laws are no alcohol sales (package or dining) between 2 and 6 am.

Seems pretty non-dry to me, compared to Minnesota’s blue laws, which were just overturned here two years ago, which were no booze sales anywhere on Sunday.

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u/bobcat7781 6d ago

Is your county shown in red or yellow? Yellow means "some restrictions apply", which would cover limiting the hours of sale.

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u/fullautohotdog 6d ago

No, a lot of those yellow counties have completely dry towns in them. Maybe not a majority of them, but many.

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u/jeffsang 6d ago

Yeah, but that makes the designation pretty useless if they're all going to be lumped in together. Cook County (i.e. Chicago) where I live is shown in yellow. I can't remember the last time I wanted to buy booze but couldn't.

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u/glberns 6d ago

What's weird is that I worked at a Jewel in Kane county (right next to Cook). We weren't allowed to sell alcohol before 11 AM on Sundays. Yet Kane is colored blue.

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u/EveAndTheSnake 6d ago

I remember moving to Pittsburgh from the UK a few years back. I had a few days to settle in before my then-boyfriend was planning to visit and get in on a Sunday evening. On Sunday I was running around trying to buy a bottle of champagne and it was impossible (I was downtown, didn’t have a car and all the liquor stores were closed). I remember being livid and thinking “how is this possible?! How can I not get alcohol because it’s SUNDAY??!”

Another time I went to a liquor store to buy beer. I wandered round for ages and eventually asked where their beer was. They looked at me like I was insane and said “this is a liquor store.” As a Brit, I was so confused finding out they had to sell beer in separate beer stores. Insanity.

I don’t live there anymore.

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u/fullautohotdog 6d ago

Sure does. That map is a mess (the joy of simplifying things too much).

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u/colt707 6d ago

Then all of california should be yellow, because it’s a state law that you can’t buy liquor of any kind between 2am and 6am.

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u/fullautohotdog 6d ago

Yeah, as I told somebody else, this map is a mess.

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u/TheKodachromeMethod 6d ago

You still can't buy beer and wine at grocery stores in MN, which is a shame.

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u/Burninator85 6d ago

I have a buddy that moved to MN and made the comment he was drinking a lot more since he moved. He drank and drank but never got drunk.

He was buying 3.2 beer from Walmart and had no idea.

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u/TheKodachromeMethod 6d ago

Lol. I think MN is the only state left where you can get that.

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u/Jeffery_G 6d ago

“Near Beer”

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u/The_Spitting_Llama 6d ago

You can buy vanilla and mouthwash at cub foods so it’s the next best thing

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u/ruiner8850 6d ago

In Michigan they didn't allow alcohol sales on Sundays until noon until fairly recently. Also no alcohol sales on Christmas and maybe Easter. They overturned that and allowed businesses to buy a license to sell during the previously banned times.

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u/FarStomach69 6d ago

Why would you ban booze sale on sundays?

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u/AcousticDan 6d ago

jesus

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u/FarStomach69 6d ago

Ahahah here where I'm from the preist drinks wine at church sundays in the name of god. Wine is jesus' blood and bread is his body

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u/BigJ32001 6d ago

Connecticut only allowed alcohol sales on Sundays in 2012 despite having the 3rd highest percentage of Catholics in the country. Even though RI, MA, and NY are less than an hour away regardless of where you lived, it was very annoying if you ran out of beer while hosting a party on a Sunday afternoon.

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u/FarStomach69 6d ago

That's why if you re having a party, the math to know how much booze to buy should look somwthing like this: n = the booze you actually need n×n

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u/BrosenkranzKeef 6d ago

These laws never say anything about consuming alcohol, only about selling it.

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u/walterpeck1 6d ago

As do American Catholics but these dry counties on the map are... not Catholic in the slightest. In fact I would go so far as to say many are anti-Catholic.

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u/YouNeedAnne 6d ago

The guy who tells people to drink red wine on Sundays? What about him?

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u/Snow_Regalia 6d ago

Pennsylvania has state-controlled liquor stores and they are closed on Sundays. One of the many joys of having alcohol controlled by a handful of people for the last century. Also liquor licenses in PA are more expensive than all but a few major cities in the entire country, because they are issued at the discretion of the liquor control board, and they basically dont issue new ones. So what is a $1,000 fee in most places can be a quarter of a million to open a bar in Philadelphia, just for the right to serve alcohol.

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u/Flutters1013 6d ago

Because drinking on Sunday makes Jesus angry.

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u/que_la_fuck 6d ago

The best was the ones that were no liquor sales till noon on Sunday. So if you want to get loaded before church you had to stick to beer or wine

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u/Jscottpilgrim 6d ago

Yeah, it confuses me that Utah isn't all yellow. Wine and liquor can't be sold at grocery stores, only in state liquor stores that are closed Sundays (and close at 7pm during covid for "reasons"). Beer can't be sold at grocery stores above 5% abv. Alcohol can't be served past 12:30 am. Most establishments can only serve you one drink at a time, and only if you're buying food.

But somehow Utah doesn't count as restricted sales?

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u/tenebrous2 6d ago

I'm guessing because the Utah laws are state wide, and this is a map of dry or restricted counties. Different jurisdictions.

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u/striped_frog 6d ago

Until not very long ago in Pennsylvania, you could only buy beer at an official beer distributor (but only by the case or keg -- no six packs), and you had to buy wine and spirits at a state-run wine and spirits store (which of course did not sell any beer), and if you wanted a six pack of beer you had to go to the takeaway section of a bar or restaurant (but you could only buy two six packs at a time; if you wanted more you had to take your first purchase out and then come back in again). And under no circumstances could any alcohol be sold at supermarkets, gas stations, or convenience stores. And there were no alcohol sales anywhere on Sundays because Jesus.

My friends and I would often just drive to New Jersey and buy our booze there instead.

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u/sorrygirl818 6d ago

I think it's about restrictions. Not straight-up zero sale.

Like, in Boston (Suffolk county), where I grew up, you can buy alcohol but not after 10 PM in stores, or before 12PM on Sundays. Liqour store owners also need a separate license to sell hard liquor than you do to sell beer and wine. Certain restaurants are restricted to only selling beer and wine, no cocktails.

In restaurants you can't just sit down and have drinks and not order food-- those are only allowed at bars/clubs/lounges. Also, unless grandfathered in, all bars must serve at least some sort of bar food. It doesn't have to be entrees but it must be food.

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u/vigoroiscool 6d ago

Same in Ohio. Only thing I can think of is that you can't buy alcohol after like 2am.

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u/DustyJustice 6d ago

I’m from mid-Michigan, I wasn’t aware we even had any ‘dry laws’, though I moved away a few years ago.

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u/A40 6d ago

Well yeah.. they have to drive out of county to get a drink. And then drive home.

Oh, and they have to hide their drinking - it's "immoral" at home.

So many healthy habits.

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u/Possible_Resolution4 6d ago

Back in the day, me and the boys would plan golf outings in dry counties because the course couldn’t make you buy their beer. There was no rule about bringing your own beer filled cooler though.

I’m sure not all dry counties are like that, but many simply say you can’t sell alcohol- nothing about drinking it.

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u/starmartyr 6d ago

That's basically all of them. Municipalities can't criminalize alcohol consumption for adults, but they can restrict sale.

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u/A40 6d ago

I think they're all that way: no selling. It's the "moral subtext" of the county bans that's the problem: "There is no safe, reasonable use of liquor" that's the problem.

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u/tingly_legalos 6d ago

I live in a dry county and if you're caught with any alcohol in your vehicle, it's gotta be disposed of. I had a friend who's grandfather's friend brought him some nice alcohol from overseas and when they were driving home from the airport they got stopped in the county. Had to pour it all out and handover the bottles. However if you can get from the county line to your house without getting caught it's like base in hide-and-go-seek, you're safe.

Edit: Forgot that one time a cop I know said he was driving home and found a Styrofoam cooler on the side of the road full of beer. He was off the clock and threw it in the bed of his truck and drove home. Even the cops hate the law but they still enforce it when they're on duty.

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u/_3cock_ 6d ago

Land of the free hahaha

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u/tingly_legalos 6d ago

"Land of the free" is just a political slogan to justify to people why we need more taxpayer money in the military and why we should be dropping bombs and starting wars. But I guess owning a gun and shooting it whenever I want is fun. It's bullshit and should be restricted more, but it's fun.

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u/LadyManchineel 6d ago

My mom would be “running an errand for someone” and drive to a liquor store two towns over to get alcohol. There were stores in our town but she didn’t want to be seen in them. She wasn’t an alcoholic either. Just liked to have a glass in the evenings a few times a week.

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u/ProtoplanetaryNebula 6d ago

How do you hide it though? Yeah, I drove to the next town to play snooker, came back at 2AM and now I have the worst headache in history and need to sleep until 1pm.

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u/toastymow 6d ago

Well, when everybody is hiding their drinking habit, people just... don't acknowledge it. Everyone comes into work with a headache and yeah, its just a headache, nothing else guys.

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u/eleyeveyein 6d ago

Yep. On Sundays we would drive up to Tennessee from Alabama (about 35-40 mins) and there was a gas station riiiiight across the line that sold 40's. Then we would crack one on the drive back with a goal of finishing the first one before you got home... That being said, times were different before the internet.

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u/Kingsolomanhere 6d ago

On Sunday we would drive 1.5 miles across the state line from Indiana to Ohio to buy alcohol at the drive thru because no alcohol sales in Indiana on Sunday. Started that tradition at 16 in high school

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u/EmmaLouLove 6d ago

If only we had a point in history that would prove how ridiculous it is to criminalize alcohol consumption.

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u/mobyhead1 6d ago

If only we had multiple historical examples demonstrating the futility and unintended consequences of trying to keep people from buying any commodity they’re determined to have.

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u/EmmaLouLove 6d ago

Yes, seriously.

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u/zipzapbloop 6d ago

I don't know man, I look at this and the obvious fix is to make these dry counties drier. /s

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u/SnowbackMcGee 6d ago

Drier? Like with an extra shot of vermouth?

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u/weedysexdragon 6d ago

That’s wet. A super dry martini is when you have the bartender take a good long look at the vermouth before putting your olives in.

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u/buttery_shame_cave 6d ago

ultra dry is when the bartender is english and merely glances towards italy while making the drink.

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u/Realistic-Dog-2198 6d ago

Gin is hella dry. Right?

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u/stickyWithWhiskey 6d ago

Vermouth isn't for drinking. Vermouth is for having a bottle around that you can show to your glass of gin.

That makes it a martini.

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u/WangnanJahad 6d ago

No no no the obvious fix is to ban it across the country.

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u/SkottyBoi 6d ago

It'll fix all problems forever and there totally won't be a thriving black market or organized crime to run it

In all seriousness though, I don't think the US as a whole is dumb enough to try it again. Then again, I've been surprised by dumb government shit before.

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u/rokr1292 6d ago

Alcohol, marijuana, opiates, gamestop shares.

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u/JukesMasonLynch 6d ago

Feel Good Hit Of The Summer - Part II

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u/Vap3Th3B35t 6d ago

Drugs won the War on Drugs.

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u/close_thelid_grillme 6d ago

Look here you little punk, we are winning the war on drugs! Winning I tell you.

We already stopped all the prostitution, now there is none. CHECKMATE.

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u/FANGO 6d ago

Except we also have plenty of examples of successfully getting people to stop buying commodities they're determined to have. Smoking rates are down a lot due to education, taxation, bar & restaurant smoking bans, etc.

The lesson here isn't "you can never influence behavior" but "you have to be intelligent about what methods you use to influence behavior."

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u/FarStomach69 6d ago

Most people think about prohibition as only lasting 10 years, but actually, some states banned alcohol way earlier. Maine banned it in the 1850s and Kentucky (IIRC) banned it until 1966 and only allowed bars to sell it from 1986 (IIRC). As a European you can't know how strange this seems. But fascinating non the less cause i'm interested in this stuff

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u/Xanderamn 6d ago

Even as an American it seems insane to me.

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u/weaselmaster 6d ago

The map is misleading. Red counties are the only ones worth talking about.

Most Yellow counties just require going to a package store instead of a supermarket or deli, or a state store like in PA. The alcohol is actually cheaper in many cases, and just as available.

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u/the_skine 6d ago

Or in one of the cities/towns in the county, they ban off-premises consumption, or they ban on-premises consumption.

Like there are a few municipalities in NY that ban bars. But nobody would build a bar there anyways since there's basically nobody in the area. The entire rest of the county would be completely unaware of any alcohol laws, as would most residents for that matter.

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u/thelegendofgabe 6d ago

IIRC It got started bc of wartime constraints in 1917 (the idea was to save the grain for food for the war effort) and then Congress introduced the 18th amendment a year later.

Alcohol at the time was seen as a destructive force and many places in the US had a temperance movement/societies. I can't recall the source but remember that Wilson went to Appalachia and saw drunk children, helping galvanize his opinion (also the origin of "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" - we were using them for hard cider not eating them lol).

So TL;DR Prohibition was started a temporary measure to help the war effort, and moralizing and religious movements used that momentum to get it ratified into an amendment.

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u/jerisad 6d ago

It was also a pretty big part of the women's movement. Women and children were living in poverty/getting beaten because the husband was a drunk. Rather than paying women decent wages/prosecuting domestic abuse, etc. banning the alcohol seemed to be the easiest solution. Most women's suffrage groups had some amount of prohibition/teetotaler ethos as well.

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u/toastymow 6d ago

The progressive movements in the 19th century in the USA where: women's rights, end slavery, prohibition. They were all linked. The idea of women working and keeping their own money and property was far too radical (lol) for the time, but lots of people saw the problem with working-class men drinking away their paycheck at the bar and then going home and beating their families.

The story of Huckleberry Finn is a great example. Finn wasn't an orphan, he had a father and a mother. But Finn's father was a layabout drunk who would beat on him and his mom, so Finn had little motivation to... ever... be around his father.

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u/Ice-and-Fire 6d ago

The income tax was a big move by the Teetotalers. The 16th Amendment allowed for the direct taxation of people's incomes, prior to that the federal government received the majority of its income from import taxes, and excise taxes on alcohol produced in the US.

Unshackling the government from those taxes permitted the banning of alcohol.

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u/tweedledayum 6d ago

I’ve actually read that while we think of prohibition as a failure, it actually had a lot of positive effects - for example a a decrease in domestic violence. Vox has a good short article on this for example

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u/cptnamr7 6d ago

Or data showing that having a dry county just means people drive further to get drunk, not that it actually reduces alcohol consumption at all.

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u/Congenital0ptimist 6d ago

That's what happens when you prioritize alcohol-free sidewalks and remove the ability to walk to bars.

People get in cars to go drink.

This is not rocket surgery.

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u/Captive_Starlight 6d ago

You mean brain science.

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u/Congenital0ptimist 6d ago

Oops. Yeah I'm not the sharpest bulb in the drawer.

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u/Japraptor 6d ago

Right, sorry, I've had a few.

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u/echo6golf 6d ago

In dry counties, a "beer run" can be a road trip. No wonder.

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u/RabidBeaverLake 6d ago

B Double E Double R U N

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u/toxic9813 6d ago

All you need is a ten and a fiver, a car and a key and a sober driver, B double E double R U N, beerrun!

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u/Homeless_Gandhi 6d ago

You know what would really help with DUI? Legalizing the delivery of alcohol to my home. In most states, it's legal to some degree but there are a ton of exceptions and restrictions. You want to limit DUIs, let me order a 6 pack from the grocery store at 3:00 am on a Sunday.

If you want to say I can't do it after 10:00 pm and I cant do it on Sunday, then guess when you will have the most preventable DUIs?

Lawmakers always want to make it a question of morals. "You shouldn't be drinking on Sunday." "You shouldn't be drinking before 10:00 am." People are gonna do what they are gonna do, clearly punitive measures don't work on addiction. So make it safe, and provide for treatment.

But then, healing and progress aren't really their goal is it? It's all about punishment.

source on alcohol delivery and shipping laws for the curious

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u/pixel_of_moral_decay 6d ago edited 6d ago

A lot of what makes it a problem is needing an adult to sign for it. Can’t leave it, or leave with a minor in most cases.

Fix that and you address a lot of the issue.

Already most states hold the property owner libel for consumption on their property, so shouldn’t really be dumped on the delivery guy. Let the property owner decide. They’re libel either way.

Edit: s/libel/liable/

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u/Noxious89123 6d ago

*liable.

"Libel" is when you write untrue shit about people.

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u/Noxious89123 6d ago

You shouldn't be drinking on Sunday.

Even the notion of such an idea is just baffling to me.

If people wanna be religious and observe the sabbath yada yada whatever, then fine, but don't try and impose that noise on anyone else.

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u/msdinkles 6d ago

Not only that, but some of us work strange hours. Just because they work 9-5, doesn’t mean the rest of us do. If I want to get beer at 8 am, it’s because I just got off a shitty shift and want to kick back and relax.

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u/jayjayflo 6d ago

Could potentially be that they are driving further to wet counties and then wrecking either on the way there or home. My closest liquor store is a mega store just 1.5 blocks from my house. I do not cross county lines. I cross 1 road. Lol. Just a guess.

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u/Low_Administration94 6d ago

Iirc we also have a lot more meth

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u/Thick-Poetry 6d ago

Is that maybe because it's easier to get than alcohol?

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u/jcerretto663 6d ago

I think poverty is a bigger problem than easier to get than beer. These laws are stupid, but poverty is one of the biggest reasons for drug use. Very sad.

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u/paytonsglove 6d ago

Well, you have to drive somewhere far away to get your sauce. So you do that, then run out, then do it again. Thus, drinking and driving.

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u/Fox_Powers 6d ago

that data is pretty illogical though...

it even says that " it found that a similar proportion of crashes in wet and dry counties are alcohol-related. "

so they are getting into DUI accidents just as often... but are dying more often... I wonder how big the data set is. There arent that many dry counties to sample, and they are mostly super rural... higher road speeds? older vehicles? other factors that might increase crash fatality rates?

Or if we are comparing an entire state of texas to 6 rural counties, where there might not be as big of a difference if we only compared to neighboring wet counties of similar social and economic status...

Im not supporting prohibition... just cant help but see possible false conclusions for obvious uncontrolled factors other than dry vs wet.

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u/eastnile 6d ago

Agreed, it's possible that rural areas have a higher rate of fatal accidents in general and are also more likely to be dry. You can't really draw conclusions from one piece of data.

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u/arrigh1 6d ago

Causal direction is also unclear: it could be that counties with high drink driving rates feel it more necessary to restrict alcohol. I doubt it, but it's something that needs to be considered.

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u/BassoonHero 6d ago

Those are different datasets from different states measuring different things.

A study in Kentucky …found that a similar proportion of crashes in wet and dry counties are alcohol-related.

…in Texas, the fatality rate in alcohol-related accidents in dry counties was… three times the rate in wet counties…

This does mean that the title is wrong.

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u/OdBx 6d ago

TIL it’s illegal to buy alcohol in parts of USA.

Land of the free indeed lool

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u/Nurgle_Marine_Sharts 6d ago

TIL there are places in the US where you can't legally buy booze

The fuck even lol, why do y'all have such weird laws sometimes.

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u/Vikros 6d ago

Land of the free

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u/militant_thomist 6d ago

Did they have these rates before or after the county became dry? Did they become dry counties in response to high rates of drunk driving fatalities?

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u/The_Great_Mighty_Poo 6d ago

I would imagine most dry towns/counties are a relic of prohibition. I doubt many of them were made dry after the fact. Or from a the quick Wikipedia search, many adopted dry laws immediately after the repeal of prohibition. Either way, the driving data would be woefully out of date, considering advances in vehicle safety, changes to legal drinking age, etc.

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u/fatcage 6d ago

I don't know if this how most of them are, but in the dry county I went to college in, you couldn't buy liquor anywhere EXCEPT at a bar. so you could get super drunk and then drive home, but not drive home and then get super drunk.

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u/oced2001 6d ago

I grew up in a dry county in East KY. I bought alcohol at 16 from bootleggers because there was no regulation.

Of course there was no place to go, so we drank in a field and drove home.

Dry counties are fucking stupid.

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u/Scott_Liberation 6d ago

I'm kind of amazed: no comments pointing out that your source shows that post title numbers are specific to Texas. Directly above that, another study in Kentucky "found that a similar proportion of crashes in wet and dry counties are alcohol-related."

I think dry counties are stupid, too, but looks like OP is cherry-picking data.

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u/StinkierPete 6d ago

Remember when the US government poisoned alcohol supplies knowing it would be consumed by citizens?

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u/cjfrey96 6d ago

I grew up in a dry township. People will drive to get drunk. Then, since it’s rural, they’ll drive home. No cabs or Uber for a reasonable price. Backwards society gonna be backwards.