The 5 Dumbest Laws Restricting the Sale of Booze

R Street's Jarrett Dieterle explains five of the most absurd alcohol laws still on the books today.


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On July 1, Virginia's General Assembly voted to allow bars and restaurants to advertise happy hours, which is the latest in a series of minor victories for the movement to liberalize U.S. liquor laws. In 2019, Congress lifted the ban on distilling spirits on Native American land, and a Supreme Court decision opened the door for constitutional challenges to state laws that restrict liquor sales across state lines.

Many of these laws date to the period immediately following the appeal of the Volstead Act, says Jarrett Dieterle, who's the director of commercial freedom at the free market policy group R Street, and the editor of These changes may seem small, says Dieterle, "but they are slowly pointing us towards a better, boozy future."

To continue the progress, Dieterle has identified five dumb booze laws that lawmakers should eliminate next.

Produced, shot, and edited by Mark McDaniel.

ColorBlind Images Blend Images/Newscom


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NEXT: Stossel: Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House!

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  1. All booze laws are tied for the title of dumbest – – – – – –

  2. That’s pretty funny, that two people have to go to the bar to buy a pitcher of beer. I can just imagine some legislator hollerin’ that otherwise, some nogoodnik is going to buy an entire pitcher for himself and guzzle it directly. I can’t think of any other plausible reason.

    1. Well, did you ever hear a joke start out “one guy walks into a bar”?

    2. Well what if it’s raining? Someone has to hold the umbrella.

      1. Nevermind, I thought it was about buying a pitcher and carrying it home. I don’t know why I thought that, lol. It makes no sense.

        1. Then there’s probably a law against it.

        2. You can get take out pitchers of beer at breweries, they call them growlers

    3. Or he actually saw me and friends on a rowdy night back in the day and said to himself, we need a law against that.

  3. Oh man I’ve been burned by the Indiana warm beer law before, I thought I could enjoy a couple cold ones in a hotel stop during a road trip. Silly me.

    I used to live in North Carolina, it’s a weird state in terms of alcohol policy – on the one hand they have the ABC stores and the happy hour restrictions, but on the other hand you can get any beer and wine in any grocery store, including growlers and kegs. In that sense it’s much better than Kansas, where I live now – up until a few months ago they had a 3.2% ABV cap on beer sold in grocery and convenience stores, which is lower than even standard macro beers. Now they’ve upped it to 6%, which is better but still a BS restriction.

    1. I remember being in Kansas years ago. No alcohol sales on Sundays, so State Line Road, which divides Kansas from Missouri, would be crowded on one side and completely empty on the other. What a weird sight that was.

  4. In Ontario we are forced to buy alcohol from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (like communists) and there is a 100% markup.

  5. I’m not fond of this format, that takes over 3 minutes to present something that I could have read in 1 minute.

    1. But millenials cannot read or something…they can only take in video on their phones. It’s why every freaking news web page has video autoplay. I spend a lot of time changing browsers to defeat autoplay, but they keep finding ways to force it to play. If I want to spend bandwidth and time to watch your video, I’ll click on it, thanks very much!

  6. Alcohol should be illegal.
    This way criminals will make a shit load of money.
    If this formula works for the drug cartels, it will work for the illegal booze gangsters.
    Besides, we need a nanny state to ensure we all live a straight, moral and strict society if we are to have a successful socialist slave state.
    After all, you didn’t see any drunks in Soviet Russia now did you?

  7. Add some salt to that chill bag and that beer will be cold in a few minutes. Or you could use the CO2 fire extinguisher in a bucket method.

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