When I moved to South Carolina in 1988, I was puzzled by all the tiny liquor bottles–the sort you usually see only on airplanes and in hotel rooms. It turned out that the popularity of minibottles was due not to some charming local custom but to state law, which limits the size of liquor containers in bars and restaurants to 50 milliliters (1.7 ounces). Now South Carolina is on the verge of repealing its minibottle mandate, which was established when the state legalized the sale of liquor by the drink in 1973. The rule was originally intended to discourage excessive consumption, Cox News Service reports, but
now, as laws against driving under the influence have tightened, the standard shot size nationwide has shrunk to 1.25 ounces. So South Carolina bartenders pour the nation's stiffest drinks, by nearly half an ounce.
That has prompted the state's Baptist Convention to join a minibottle repeal coalition that includes the tourism industry, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and a bipartisan majority in the General Assembly.
I had thought the bottle limit was ridiculous, but now I'm starting to have second thoughts.