Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wacky Liquor Laws (and Second Floor Donkey Naps)

Goofy laws are nothing new to me, especially after having lived in Pennsylvania for several years. I'm sure every state has its share of either religiously motivated, trial determined, or just plain idiotic laws (my favorite being Arizon's law that "Donkey's cannot sleep in bathtubs.") but Utah has to take the cake for some of the most regorously enforced and downright asenine laws related to alcohol. This is on top of the fact that a man can have any number of wives yet a husband is responsible for every criminal act committed by his wife while she is in his presence.

Recently, I received an email from Jason Vance about his new documentary "Liquor Behind Zion’s Curtain" which he described as " hard look at Utah’s crazy liquor laws from the 1800 to present day." I watched both trailers and it seems like they have made some great progress in version 2. from version 1. They are about 60% done with the documentary, and I can't wait to see how it turns out!

From what little I've heard about Utah, you apparently can't pour a beer in view of a child, although they have no problem drinking in front of them. I'm not sure if this is still the case, but this "can't be shown making drinks" law was easily (and ludicrously) circumvented by simply serving somebody the bar mix, dekuyper's whatever, or soda alongside enough airplane minis to allow the person to mix their own drink at the table. It would seem to me that any children present would be far more influenced by seeing a family member mix this kind of drink under the table (and "out of view") than they would seeing a bartender quickly and professionally create a drink. Nothing creates desire in a child more surely than express prohibition.

My own experiences with beer related laws aren't nearly that extreme but seem to be just as stupid. In Pennsylvania for instance, you not only can't buy beer in a liquor store (which are all state owned and controlled,) there are two distince types of beer stores with their own specific rules. If you wanted to buy small quantities of beer you can buy up to 2 six packs from a six pack shop (but not 3!) per vehicle; if you wanted to buy larger quantities of beer you must purchase them by the case or keg from a distributor (which can be a big pain, especially if you want to buy a varied selection of craft beer.) What does this mean? You can't buy 18 beers in the state of Pennsylvania, it's 12 or 24+. Also, bonbons or other chocolates containing minuscule quantities of alcohol are not allowed. Weird right?

Does your state have any weird laws? Have you experienced any of this Utah strangeness? Let me know in the comments below!

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