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The Indiana Law Library Blog

Unusual Liquor Laws

Recently, while pursuing a question about alcohol sales, one of our law librarians ran across this Indiana statute.

IC 7.1-5-10-11
Sale of cold beer prohibited
Sec. 11. Sale of Cold Beer Prohibited. It is unlawful for the holder of a beer dealer’s permit to offer or display for sale, or sell, barter, exchange or give away a bottle, can, container, or package of beer that was iced or cooled by the permittee before or at the time of the sale, exchange, or gift.
(Formerly: Acts 1973, P.L.55, SEC.1.)

At first glance, there seem to be a lot of law breakers in Indiana. It should be noted though, that there is a difference between beer deals and beer retailers.  This law was most likely passed to stop people from buying large quantities of beer and then drinking in immediately, and it made us ask ourselves what other unusual laws there were about alcohol use and consumption out there. A quick web search reveals several lists of humorous alcohol laws, but several of them are not verified. Some also stretch the truth a bit—several sites claim that you cannot buy alcohol on credit at an Iowa bar; however Iowa Code 123.49(2)(c) actually just prohibits buying on credit without a credit card.  So we proudly present some entertaining moments in the legal history of alcohol which we can actually cite.

Alabama

In Tuscaloosa watch your behavior in public parks—and no trying to get animals drunk.

Tuscaloosa Municipal Code §18-24

It shall be unlawful for any person in any park:

(9) Feeding of animals: To give or offer, or attempt to give, to any animal or bird, any tobacco, alcohol, or other poisonous or noxious substances.

Oklahoma

In the early 1980’s wholesale liquor distributors discovered two laws that worked well together—the Oklahoma constitution and 37 Oklahoma Statutes Annotated 533 which required that any manufacturer of spirits who sold or advertised their liquor in Oklahoma had to sell to every buyer equally, and 37 Oklahoma Statutes Annotated 536.1 which required that all alcohol sold in Oklahoma be sold at the lowest price offered in any state.  Thus it became good business to buy alcohol in Oklahoma and drive it to other states (principally California) and sell it very cheaply. The OK Attorney General’s office issued an opinion that this was not allowed, and wholesalers would be required to show where the alcohol was bound for sale, but a district court opinion overturned it.  It wasn’t until several of the major alcohol manufacturers, most notable Seagram & Sons elected simply to pull out of Oklahoma entirely that the Supreme Court of Oklahoma in Central Liquor Company v. Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, 640 P.2d 1351 (1982) decided that such sales would be monitored.

South Carolina

Frances Willard Day, which is the fourth Friday in October, is a holiday for teaching children about the evils of alcohol.

S.C. Code §53-3-20 Frances Willard Day.

The fourth Friday in October in each year shall be set apart and designated in the public schools as Frances Willard Day and in each public school it shall be the duty of such school to prepare and render a suitable program on the day to the end that the children of the State may be taught the evils of intemperance.

Texas

In Texas, illegal drinks are illegal.  Ignorance is no excuse.

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Sec. 103.01.

ILLICIT BEVERAGES PROHIBITED.  No person may possess, manufacture, transport, or sell an illicit beverage.

 


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