It's The Law!

  1. After Michael O'Neil opened O'Neil's Saloon, he was promptly informed by the state liquor authority that he was breaking the law by using the word "saloon." He complied by changing the "S" into a "B," thus making it O'Neil's Baloon. 1
  2. Although the French wine, "Fat Bastard," is now distributed in 22 states in the US. both Texas and Ohio have banned its sale within their borders. 2
  3. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BAFT) bans the word "refreshing" to describe any alcohol beverage. 3
  4. A young adult college student studying in Italy can't have a glass of Chianti with dinner, according to the Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act. Students under the age of 21 are prohibited by the federal government from conforming to the drinking laws and customs of the countries in which they are studying. This, of course, is contrary to the educational goals underlying international education or study abroad programs. 4
  5. It is a violation of the California Alcoholic Beverage Control Act for producers of alcohol beverages to list the names of retailers or restaurants that sell their products in advertising or even in newsletters. 5
  6. A person can be sent to jail for five years for merely sending a bottle of beer, wine or spirits as a gift to a friend in Kentucky. 6
  7. State of Maryland Certified Alcohol Expert Writer
  8. Maryland now requires that alcohol beverage writers be certified as experts by an agency of the state before they can receive product samples, which it limits to three bottles per brand. 7
  9. Anyone under the age of 21 who takes out household trash containing even a single empty alcohol beverage container can be charged with illegal possession of alcohol in Missouri. 8
  10. If a law enforcement officer is having a drink in a bar in Iowa and an employee pours water down the drain, the water is legally considered an alcohol beverage intended for unlawful purposes. 9
  11. Don't plan on running a "tab" in Iowa; it's illegal. 10
  12. Druggists in Connecticut must pay $400.00 each year for a license in order to use alcohol in compounding prescriptions. 11
  13. No alcohol beverages can be displayed within five feet of a cash register of any store in California that sells both alcohol and motor fuel.12
  14. It's illegal in Michigan for a person under the age of 21 to give a gift of alcohol beverage to anyone, even to a person of legal age. 13
  15. A server in California can be convicted of selling to a minor if the purchaser uses a false or altered ID to buy the alcohol. 14
  16. An owner or employee of an establishment in Iowa that sells alcohol can't legally consume a drink there after closing for business. 15
  17. Beer
  18. Public intoxication is a crime in Pennsylvania but specifically not a crime in Minnesota. 16
  19. It's illegal in New Jersey for parents to give their children under the age of 18 even a sip of alcohol. 17
  20. Permitting diners to take home an unfinished bottle of alcohol beverage, rather than consuming it all before leaving to prevent "waste," encourages moderation and discourages intoxication. However, this is prohibited in Michigan. 18
  21. The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a recipe for making beer that can be used at home. 19
  22. It's illegal in Indiana for liquor stores to sell milk or cold soft drinks. They can, however, sell uinrefrigerated soft drinks. 20
  23. Texas state law prohibits taking more than three sips of beer at a time while standing. 21
  24. Nebraska state law prohibits bars from selling beer unless they are simultaneously brewing a kettle of soup. 22
  25. State law of North Dakota prohibits serving beer and pretzels at the same time in any bar or restaurant. 23
  26. In Houston, Texas, beer many not be purchased after midnight on Sunday, but can be purchased anytime on Monday...which happens to begin right after midnight on Sunday! So it's illegal to buy it when its legal to buy it? 24
  27. Law Breaker?

    Mark Phillips of Alexandria, Virginia, was arrested for selling a single bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild wine to an undercover agent in an Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) board sting.

    Phillips, as leader of a local wine club had agreed to post the offer on the club's web site on behalf of a member of the diplomatic service who needed to dispose of that bottle and a few others in preparation for an overseas tour of duty for the United States.

    In making the arrest, ABC appeared at Phillips' house with a dozen armed officers and held the accused and his family under guard while officers searched the house. They threatened to confiscate Phillips' entire personal wine collection, not just the few bottles he offered for sale on behalf of a friend.

    The case was dismissed on a technicality, but had Phillips been convicted of selling alcohol without a licence, he could have faced one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. 29

  28. Colorado law requires that wine be sold in containers of at least 24 ounces and spirits in containers at least a fifth of a gallon. But, at the same time, it also decrees that no alcohol beverage can be stored in hotel minibars in anything larger than miniature containers. 25
  29. If you are intoxicated but not driving your car, but the person who is driving your car is intoxicated, both you and the driver can be charged with DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) in Virginia Beach, Virginia. 26
  30. Don't plan on using any of the celebratory Champagne bottle sizes known as Methuselahs, Salamanazars, Balthazars or Nebuchadnezzars. These very traditional Champagne bottle sizes are all illegal in Florida. 27
  31. Some states and other jurisdictions within the US require that the interior of public drinking establishments be visible from the street, whereas other specifically prohibit that; some insist that food be available wherever drinks are served, whereas other make that illegal; and some require that anyone drinking stand at a bar, whereas others mandate that they be seated while drinking. 28
  32. Ohio state law prohibits getting a fish drunk. 30
  33. In Fairbanks, Alaska, it's illegal to feed a moose any alcohol beverage. 31
  34. It's illegal to sit on any street curb in St. Louis, Missouri, and drink beer from a bucket. 32
  35. Drunk drivers in San Salvador can be punished by death before a firing squad. 33
  36. In Saskatchewan, Canada, it's illegal to drink alcohol while watching exotic dancers. 34
  37. In the 1940's, California law made it illegal to serve alcohol to a gay (homosexual) person. 35


  • 1. Barr, Andrew. Drink: A Social History of America. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1999, p. 381.
  • 2. Click, Jerry. Bastards are Here! Wine Trader, T(3), 1999, 57-58.
  • 3. Mead, Jerry. The Wine Curmedgeon. The Wine Trader, Q(6).
  • 4. Epstein, Joelo C., Study abroad programs: No respite from the Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act, SAFETI On-Line Newsletter (, January 21, 2000).
  • 5. Mead, Jerry, The Wine Curmudgeon, Wine Trader T(3), 1999, 7-10.
  • 6. Mead, Jerry, The Wine Curmudgeon, Wine Trader. Q(6).
  • 7. Mead, Jerry, The Wine Curmudgeon, Wine Trader, Q(6).
  • 8. Missouri Revised Statutes (311.325).
  • 9. Iowa Code (123.120).
  • 10. Iowa Code (123, 49-2-c).
  • 11. General Statutes of Connecticut (Title 3, sec. 30-36).
  • 12. California Alcohol Beverage Control Act (23790.5-d).
  • 13. Michigan Liquor Control Code (436.1207-c).
  • 14. California Alcohol Control Act (25660).
  • 15. Iowa Code (123.49-2-b-k), Iowa Administrative Code (1850).
  • 16. Pennsylvania Crime Code (Title 18); Minnesota Statutes 1999 (340A.902).
  • 17. New Jersy Alcohol Beverage Control Law (Title 33).
  • 18. Michigan Liquor Control Code (436.2021).
  • 20.Chap. 10, Liquor Dealer Permits. IC 7.1-3-10-5, Sec. 5.
  • 25.Prial, F. J. Strange But True Tales From the Annals of Drinking Laws. New York Times, March 11, 1998;
  • 27. Florida Statutes
  • 28. Heath, D.B. Drinking Occasions: Comparative Perspectives on Alcohol and Culture. Philadelphia, PA: Brunner/Mazel, 2000, p. 53.
  • 29. Mead, Jerry, Be careful out there, Wine Trader, T(3), 1999, p. 10.
  • 30.
  • 31. Fairbanks Daily News Miner, cited in
  • 32.
  • 33.
  • 34. Saskatchewan Provincial Statutes, cited in
  • 35.

filed under: Fun Facts

This website is informational only. It makes no suggestions or recommendations about any subject.
For more fine print, read the disclaimer.