We are a country built upon three fundamental and unalienable human rights: The right to drink good whiskey, the right to party all night, and the right to listen to rock and roll music as loud as we want (that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” crap is for the birds, anyway!). But part of living in the land of the free means understanding the necessity for at least some semblance of law and order every once in a while.
And unfortunately, sometimes “law and order” is just another way of saying “reprehensible and pointless.” Here are 10 of the dumbest liquor laws in the country:
Utah’s “Zion Curtains” Law:
In Utah, restaurant bartenders are required to make drinks out of the view of patrons. The idea is that if people can’t see the alcohol, they won’t choose to drink excessively.
… Or something. Uhhh…
Pennsylvania’s Beer, Wine, and Liquor Law:
Beer and wine are sold together in every civilized land in the world—unless, of course, you’re in Pennsylvania. If you’re in the Quaker State and want to buy wine or liquor, you may do so only at one of the state’s 600 government-run liquor stores. Yet, you can buy a six-pack at your local Chinese food spot. No, seriously.
No Happy Hour in Massachusetts:
You know that old adage, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere?” Well, not in Massachusetts, apparently, where it is illegal for bars and restaurants to offer any person or group of people drinks at a discounted rate than would be available to the general public at any other time on that day. Essentially, no one in Massachusetts is allowed to have any fun, ever.
Dry Counties in Bourbon Country (Kentucky):
Kentucky, a state known for its impeccable bourbons and whiskeys, is actually a primarily “dry” state, meaning the sale of alcohol is outlawed. Of Kentucky’s 120 counties, only 33 are “wet” (sell alcohol for public consumption), 38 are “dry,” and the remaining 49 are “moist” (dry with special circumstances).
Well we’ll be damned. Who saw that coming?
No Drinking and (Horse) Riding in Colorado:
This is a pretty well known one, but it’s ridiculous, nonetheless. The state of Colorado prohibits the act of riding a horse while intoxicated.
However, it’s widely misreported that violating this law can earn you a quick DUI. In reality, it’s only a traffic violation. BUT, in states like Kentucky, where non-motorized vehicles are included in their DUI statuses (including bicycles, scooters, and—you guessed it—horses), you can get clipped with a DUI for trailblazing under the influence.
Discreet Public Drinking in Georgia:
We love Georgia for a lot of reasons, but some of our favorites are the city’s lax drinking laws, which allow people to drink in public, so long as they keep things low key. In Savannah, for instance, bars leave stacks of plastic cups near every exit. When patrons wish to leave, they simply pour their party juice into a cup, toss out the conspicuous bottleware, and hit the road.
No Second Drink Before You Finish Your First in Utah:
Another gem from Utah, it is illegal for bar patrons to order a second drink before they’ve finished their first. The official law is that no person may be in possession of drinks with 2.5 ounces of liquor at any given time, but that basically just means: “One drink at a time, you lush!” Bartenders and wait staff in Utah will literally wait until you finish your first drink before handing you your second, which is stupid, and probably only encourages people to drink faster.
You Can’t Touch Your Own Butt in Virginia:
Speaking of stupid, did you know it’s illegal to touch your own butt when in a bar in Virginia? Yup. Under 3VAC5-50-140 of Virginia’s Administrative Code, “The fondling or caressing by any person, whether an entertainer or not, of his own or of another’s breast, genitals, or buttocks” is prohibited under law. So don’t even think about caressing your own butt at a bar in Virginia. DON’T. EVEN. THINK. ABOUT. IT.
No Cold Beer in Oklahoma:
Oklahoma state law prohibits the sale of any beer 4% ABV and above (which is basically any beer worth drinking—we’re looking at you, Amstel Light!), at anything under room temperature. So if you’re looking for a cold brew in the Sooner State, you better head to the bar or your own fridge, because you won’t find anything good at the store.
Public Drunkenness Is Totally Legal in Las Vegas:
The land of fast times, faster women, and big money, Las Vegas is ostensibly a giant adult playground in the middle of a scorching hot desert. And perhaps what’s best of all is that, unlike every other major city in the country (that we could find, at least), public drunkenness is 100% legal in the Land of Sin. Tired of getting beat up by the Black Jack table at the Bellagio? No problem! Walk you and your three-foot Long Island iced tea down the block to Caesars Palace and give the roulette wheel a whirl. Just don’t forget to put it all on Red.