Alcohol politics

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podz

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What kind of alcohol politics are there where you live?

Here in Finland, nothing above 4.7% ABV can be sold in normal stores - only in Alko, the state-run monopoly between 9AM and 8pm Mon-Fri, 9-6 Saturday, closed on Sundays and holidays. Beer and cider that's sold in normal stores can be sold 7 days a week, between 9 AM and 9 PM. If you walk down the street drinking a beer or cider, generally cops won't even look at you twice unless you're staggering. Even then, they likely just pour your beer out and tell you go to home. It's pretty hard to get taken to jail for public intoxication unless you're causing a lot of trouble or passed out on the street and it's freezing temperatures outside. You can buy weak beer (up to 2.8% ABV) when you're 16, every kind of alcohol when you're 18. Night clubs are allowed to raise the age limits if they want, I've seen them as high as 24 years old to enter. Not uncommon for groups of 18 year old guys to walk down the street with an open case of beer, each having one in hand.

Kind of blows my mind when I read that this Kentucky man has been arrested over 1000 times for public intoxication!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ted-1-500-times-spends-Thanksgiving-jail.html
 

Grannyknot

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In my state, anything over 6.25% has to be sold in a liquor store, which are closed on Sundays, have extraordinarily high prices, and usually a limited and unrefrigerated selection.

We are however working on improving things. Recently passed legislation paving the way for wine to be sold in grocery stores, and working on high gravity beers getting the same status. Any changes are years down the road though, with the opposition planning road blocks to delay the actual implementation.
 

Beernik

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I live in Utah.

Let's just start with the latest brain fart: announce your new policy will deny a permit to serve beer at Oktoberfest.

Thankfully that idea got axed.
 

drainbamage

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Kentucky is split pretty evenly: the north and west parts of the state are mostly wet, while the south and east are mostly dry. Occasionally a dry country will vote on going wet, but it usually doesn't pass. I'm lucky enough to live in the very northern part, so you can get beer at grocery stores and gas stations. We also don't have any limitations on the ABV of high-gravity beers that can be sold, at least not in liquor stores (not sure about in grocery stores)

Kind of blows my mind when I read that this Kentucky man has been arrested over 1000 times for public intoxication!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ted-1-500-times-spends-Thanksgiving-jail.html
Hey, Henry Earl! I never managed to have any run-ins with him in my college years in Lexington, but I know of people who did. From all accounts he was actually a pretty cool guy most of the time, if perpetually hammered. Supposedly, as his legend began to spread around the Internet, Jimmy Kimmel scheduled Henry to appear on his show, but it had to be cancelled because (surprise) Henry ended up in jail on the filming date.
 

jekeane

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I would love to know what that guy or possibly the system that believes he needs to be arrested has cost in tax dollars.
 

acarter5251

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I'm in Florida, the land of illegal 64 oz growlers but legal 32 and 128 oz growlers
 

Qhrumphf

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Depending on which side of the river you're on, it gets screwy around here. In VA, hard liquor is under state monopoly via state-run ABC stores, but all wine and beer is available from a lot of stores, including grocery stores, and to a more limited extent (don't know if this is just law or consumer base) gas stations.

In DC, wine liquor and beer are all sold through liquor stores, but licensed retailers are allowed to go get any beer and sell it themselves, as long as there's no wholesaler already importing it. Result is more or less legalized grey market at huge markup in some DC bars and liquor stores.

In Maryland, it's very strange and varies county to county, and I'm glad I don't live there for that reason. I know there's a big push to change things in Montgomery County, where I'm glad I don't live as the system is really stupid. All the stores are private (I think), but the county acts as the wholesaler that all the stores have to order from, and apparently the selection is awful anywhere you go in MG County (my experience), and the turnaround is even worse, and apparently things are compounded because the county doesn't refrigerate their warehouse.
 

chocotaco

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In California, anything can be sold in any store as long as they have the appropriate license (except for anything over 151 proof which isn't allowed in general).

Every grocery store has the appropriate license.

I didn't realize how lucky I am to be able to walk into any grocery store and buy a double IPA, barleywine, or bottle of whisky until I visited Oregon, where it doesn't quite work that way. It's still kind of puzzling how they think it's going to help anything to move all the good stuff to a different store - all they're doing is hurting grocery stores!

I still (no pun intended) wish we could get real Everclear here because it seems useful for many things not limited to drinking.
 

sandyeggoxj

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Az is like California. Anything you want, almost anytime and from almost any store. I buy craft beer by the case at Costco, including imperial bombers. The grocery has a full selection of hard liquor, wine and beer. Then they have the mega big box stores: total wine and bevmo. There are liquor stores too but they usually specialize in something if they want to stick around. Az also won the title again for best state for gun owners. Outside of the high sales tax and water issues it is a good state to be in, at least that is what I think. :D
 

KVANTAN

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I live as a non-muslim in a muslim country so since only they are prohibited from drinking everything goes for the rest of us as far as hours of sales, acceptable behavior and places where you can drink goes. The flip side is, alcohol is expensive and there are very limited choices on beers (not a problem for me) and homebrewing is illegal. But nobody is looking so it is more of a supply side complication.
 

truvr

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I live in Utah.

Let's just start with the latest brain fart: announce your new policy will deny a permit to serve beer at Oktoberfest.

Thankfully that idea got axed.
Dammit, you beat me to it. The Snowbird fiasco was a real treat. But the list goes on:
- Nothing over 3.2% in grocery stores, 4.0% if it is brewed in state.
- No hard cider, lemonade, girly malt beverages (no offense ladies) of any sort, etc. in grocery stores period.
- Zion Curtain - no pouring drinks in restaurants in view of minors.
- Intent to Dine rules - don't get me started.
- To sell their own product breweries have to package and ship it to the state run DABC then have it shipped back to them to sell.
- It is damn near impossible to start any sort of business that deals in alcohol due to license limitations and the ever shifting rules and interpretations of the rules by DABC.
- Every legislative session any of the above rules is subject to change seemingly at random by the ruling majority that claim to believe in small and limited government.
- I was once denied purchase of a six pack because I had a family member who was a minor in line with me at the grocery store.

To this day I don't understand how homebrewing is legal here.
 
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podz

podz

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- Intent to Dine rules - don't get me started.

Damn, it sounds like you're living in the stone ages or something.

Anyway, please do start. I want to read it.

In Helsinki we have over 500 outside terraces like this where you can buy any kind of alcohol that is generally available in Finland:

 

Qhrumphf

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Dammit, you beat me to it. The Snowbird fiasco was a real treat. But the list goes on:
- Nothing over 3.2% in grocery stores, 4.0% if it is brewed in state.
- No hard cider, lemonade, girly malt beverages (no offense ladies) of any sort, etc. in grocery stores period.
- Zion Curtain - no pouring drinks in restaurants in view of minors.
- Intent to Dine rules - don't get me started.
- To sell their own product breweries have to package and ship it to the state run DABC then have it shipped back to them to sell.
- It is damn near impossible to start any sort of business that deals in alcohol due to license limitations and the ever shifting rules and interpretations of the rules by DABC.
- Every legislative session any of the above rules is subject to change seemingly at random by the ruling majority that claim to believe in small and limited government.
- I was once denied purchase of a six pack because I had a family member who was a minor in line with me at the grocery store.

To this day I don't understand how homebrewing is legal here.
I've known about most of those, but the "Intent to Dine" and "Zion Curtain" things are absolutely ludicrous. Wow.
 

Beernik

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- I was once denied purchase of a six pack because I had a family member who was a minor in line with me at the grocery store.

To this day I don't understand how homebrewing is legal here.
You can thank Huntsman for making homebrew legal. Well, technically it wasn't illegal before, but you had to get all the same permits as a brewery in order to homebrew.

Hoebrewing still was weird restrictions, like you can't transport more than a gallon of beer or two liters of wine at a time. Utah: putting the "home" in homebrew.

I got denied a purchase at the liquor store for the same reason. I had to leave for a couple hours and come back. It pissed me off because I was buying rum for homemade Puerto Rican eggnog (coquito) for a family get together and I was on a clock for making it. And it isn't like there is one on every corner. I have to drive 8 miles to the nearest one.

But you can't explain that you need 1.5L of rum for cooking to a Mormon.

And I'm pretty sure the Zion Curtain exists because Valentine and Waddoups watched Cocktail with Tom Cruise too many times when they were children.
 

JonM

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Here in Wisconsin, we have some of the most liberal rules in the country. Here's the one that shocks most: A child can drink in a bar or restaurant as long as the parent/guardian is present and consents. That rule was amended a few years ago to allow an under-21 person to drink with his/her over-21 spouse.

Stores have class A and Class B licenses. Class A can sell everything, Class B is just beer. Some municipalities (like Milwaukee) have ordinances that say no alcohol sales after 9:00 p.m. Most allow sales until midnight.

There was an annual party in the University of Wisconsin area (the famous Mifflin Street Party) that got into some silly hair-splitting regarding drinking in public. You can drink whatever you want in your front yard. However, if you step onto the sidewalk, that's illegal. Kinda silly.

First offense OWI is a civil forfeiture - that is, it's not a crime. Offenses 2-4 are misdemeanors. #5 is when the felony charges start.

EDIT: Kids can be in liquor stores. Liquor is sold in grocery stores. Grocery stores can, and very often do, have beer and wine tastings. Our MLB team is the Brewers and, in the olde days, home runs were celebrated by having the lederhosen-wearing mascot go down a slide into a giant beer mug.
 

DrWill

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Here in Wisconsin, we have some of the most liberal rules in the country.

Sometimes I love my adopted home state. Re: minors drinking with consent of a guardian, this can be tricky, since not every establishment is clear on the law.




Sent from my Rotary Phone using Magic.
 

kcmobrewer

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Missouri has some of the most liberal laws in he country when it comes to alcohol. I love my home state.

- No blue laws
- No public intoxication law
- No open container law
- Passengers in a vehicle can drink as long as the driver isn't
- You can buy any beer in any normal store, including grocery stores
- Liquor and beer sold together everywhere, including grocery stores

P.S. I hate Utah. Some of the most ludicrous laws I have ever heard of.
 

Homercidal

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We're pretty good here in Michigan, but not as good as Wisconsin, and some others.

Sundays are restricted, but I can't remember what the details are. It used to be after Noon it was ok, but I think it changed a year or so ago.
Beer and wine and liquor can be sold if the store has a liquor license, and the state keeps count. So many licenses per population or something. Some stores can get a beer/wine license which is different.

No restrictions on cold or ABV as far as I know.

Kids can drink alcohol with their parent's consent, in their own home, but ONLY for religious ceremonies. (I suspect this would also include a place of worship, like communion or something.)

I had a policeman from Georgia a few years back tell me that open containers were against the law there. If you were sitting on your porch, and your beer was able to be seen from the public road, they could cite you. He explained it very well, so there was no ambiguity. You had to put your drink in a coozie to keep from getting a ticket for drinking beer on your own property.
 
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In my state, anything over 6.25% has to be sold in a liquor store, which are closed on Sundays, have extraordinarily high prices, and usually a limited and unrefrigerated selection.

We are however working on improving things. Recently passed legislation paving the way for wine to be sold in grocery stores, and working on high gravity beers getting the same status. Any changes are years down the road though, with the opposition planning road blocks to delay the actual implementation.
Don't forget the most ludicrous part of booze in Tennessee - Jack Daniels is distilled in a dry county. I grew up in Greeneville and still have tons of cousins near Knoxville so I get to comment. :)

As far as other states I've lived or worked in...

New York - beer sold in grocery stores and distributors, wine and liquor sold in privately owned liquor stores.

Pennsylvania - beer sold by distributors only by the case or keg and by "Restaurants in smaller quantities...which is why every bar serves food (a large part of their revenue is through beer sales) and why some of the larger grocery stores have small restaurants in them. Wine and liquor is sold through State run stores.

West Virginia - Much more civilized...or at least it has been since they got rid of the 3.2% limit on beer from my college days. Beer, wine and liquor is sold in grocery stores. The only limitation I know of is that you can't buy it before noon on Sunday - leftover Blue Law.
 

truvr

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You can thank Huntsman for making homebrew legal.
I'm still surprised it got past Valentine, et. al. I am a big fan of Huntsman. I don't affiliate with his (or any) party but he was a fine governor and he would have gotten my vote for president.

I got denied a purchase at the liquor store for the same reason.
I was gonna say I was surprised to hear this, but I guess not really. I will say that I have had only good experiences with the employees in the liquor stores. And I'm hailing from happy valley! :)

And I'm pretty sure the Zion Curtain exists because Valentine and Waddoups watched Cocktail with Tom Cruise too many times when they were children.
Haha. I was thinking the exact same thing!
 

truvr

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P.S. I hate Utah. Some of the most ludicrous laws I have ever heard of.
There are a lot of things to like about Utah. But you are correct, the liquor laws are damn screwy.

Another one I like - wine flights are legal, beer flights illegal.

Regarding Intent to Dine, it used to be that you could not order a drink in a restaurant unless and until you ordered food. Then they changed it so you could order a drink as long as you intended to order food. But that just got everyone confused.

Tourism is a huge part of the local economy. These strange laws make tourists (and a fair number of residents) feel stupid, confused, and/or angry. It tarnishes the state's image and hurts the tourism industry. I've got family in Europe and they hear about it in the news over there. But it continues year after year.
 
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