Written by Petra Spiess
Wednesday, 09 July 2008
What’s the deal with dry counties?
The 21st amendment ended prohibition against alcohol, unless, a local law exists that restricts its sale, transportation, or use (section 2 of the amendment). Basically, local laws around alcohol supersede federal laws (this however, is most assuredly NOT the case with the many state laws passed relaxing rules around drug use—specifically marijuana—as the DEA likes to remind everyone). As a result, there are some bizarre differences across the U.S. in the legality of alcohol, the weirdest, arguably, is the existence of the “dry” county or town.
Dry counties and towns are entire counties or specific towns that forbid the sale, and usually the production, marketing, transportation etc… of alcohol. In half of the counties in Mississippi, even driving across these places with a beer in your car (unopened of course) is illegal. The law stands even if you do not plan to stop. In some Alaskan communities, possession of beer is also crime. You read this paragraph right. In some places in America, it is illegal to have a beer in your possession.
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