Dry Counties: Prohibition Counties in the US Today

Dry counties are those that forbid the sale of alcoholic beverages in some form. Hundreds of dry counties exist across the United States. And about 18,000,000 people live in the roughly 10% of the area of the US that is dry.

The U.S. repealed National Prohibition in 1933. However, a large proportion of the population continued to support prohibition. So some states chose to maintained their own state-wide prohibition. Others permitted local jurisdictions to decide the matter within their own borders. The latter is local option.

Local Option

Local option areas are usually counties. But many are townships, towns, cities, or even justice of the peace districts.  There are 129 dry towns and villages in Alaska. In thirty-two of these communities the mere possession of alcohol is a crime. Hundreds of other dry townships exist in the United States. Some exist within wet counties. To discover more, visit Local Option.

Dry Counties in the U.S.

This is a partial list.

ALABAMA

1 Bibb
2 Blount
3 Cherokee
4 Chilton
5 Clarke
6 Clay
7 Coffee
8 Cullman
9 DeKalb
10 Fayette
11 Franklin
12 Geneva.
13 Jackson
14 Lamar
15 Lauderdale
16 Lawrence
17 Marion
18 Marshall
19 Monroe
20 Morgan
21 Pickens
22 Randolph
23 Washington
24 Winston

More about Alabama Laws

ARKANSAS

1 Ashley
2 Benton
3 Boone
4 Bradley
5 Clark
6 Clay
7 Cleburne
8 Columbia
9 Craighead
10 Crawford
11 Faulkner
12 Fulton
13 Grant
14 Hempstead
15 Hot Spring
16 Howard
17 Independence
18 Izard
19 Johnson
20 Lafayette
21 Lawrence
22 Lincoln
23 Little River
24 Lonoke
25 Madison
26 Marion
27 Montgomery
28 Nevada
29 Newton
30 Perry
31 Pike
32 Polk
33 Pope
34 Randolph
35 Saline
36 Scott
37 Searcy
38 Sevier
39 Sharp
40 Stone
41 Van Buren
42 WhiteYell

More about Arkansas Laws

FLORIDA

1 Lafayette
2 Liberty
3 Madison
4 Suwannee
5 Washington

More about Florida Laws

KANSAS

1 Barber
2 Chautauqua
3 Cherokee
4 Clark
5 Clay
6 Comanche
7 Doniphan
8 Elk
9 Gove
10 Grant
11 Greeley
12 Hamilton
13 Harper
14 Haskell
15 Jewell
16 Kiowa
17 Lane
18 Logan
19 Meade
20 Morton
21 Osborne
22 Ottawa
23 Rice
24 Scott
25 Sheridan
26 Stafford
27 Stanton
28 Stevens
29 Wallace
30 Wichita
31 Woodson

More about Kansas Laws

Kansas Alcohol Laws.

KENTUCKY

1 Adair
2 Allen
3 Ballard
4 Barren
5 Bath
6 Bell
7 Breathitt
8 Breckenridge
9 Butler
10 Caldwell
11 Carlisle
12 Carter
13 Casey
14 Clay
15 Clinton
16 Crittenden
17 Cumberland
18 Edmonson
19 Elliott
20 Estill
21 Fleming
22 Garrard
23 Grant
24 Graves
25 Grayson
26 Greenup
27 Hancock
28 Hickman
29 Jackson
30 Johnson
31 Knox
32 Knott
33 LaRue
34 Laurel
35 Lawrence
36 Lee
37 Leslie
38 Letcher
39 Lincoln
40 Livingston
41 Marshall
42 Martin
43 McCreary
44 McCreary
45 McLean
46 Menifee
47 Mercer
48 Metcalfe
49 Monroe
50 Morgan
51 Ohio
52 Oldham
53 Owen
54 Owsley
55 Powell
56 Pulaski
57 Robertson
58 Rockcastle
59 Russell
60 Shelby
61 Simpson
62 Spencer
63 Taylor
64 Trimble
65 Trigg
66 Wayne
67 Webster
68 Whitley
69 Woodford

More about Kentucky Laws

MISSISSIPPI

1 Alcorn
2 Attala
3 Benton
4 Calhoun
5 Clarke
6 Franklin
7 George
8 Greene
9 Leake
10 Lincoln
11 Newton
12 Pearl River
13 Pontotoc
14 Prentiss
15 Scott
16 Simpson
17 Smith
18 Tate
19 Wayne
20 Webster

More about Mississippi Laws

Mississippi Alcohol Laws: Temperance-oriented?

TEXAS

1 Andrews
2 Angelina
3 Armstrong
4 Bailey
5 Borden
6 Bowie
7 Floyd
8 Cochran
9 Collingsworth
10 Cottle
11 Crosby
12 Dawson
13 Delta
14 Erath
15 Fisher
16 Franklin
17 Gaines
18 Hale
19 Hansford
20 Hemphill
21 Houston
22 Johnson
23 Jones
24 Kent
25 Knox
26 Lamb
27 Lubbock
28 Lynn
29 Morris
30 Motley
31 Ochiltree
32 Panola
33 Parmer
34 Roberts
35 Rusk
36 Sherman
37 Smith
38 Sterling
39 Swisher
40 Terry
41 Throckmorton
42 Tyler
43 Van Zandt
44 Wood
45 Yoakum

More about Texas Laws

Texas Alcohol Laws: Big State, Many Laws.

VIRGINIA

1 Appomattox
2 Bland
3 Botetour
4 Buchanan
5 Campbell
6 Carroll
7 Charlotte
8 Craig
9 Dickenson
10 Floyd
11 Franklin
12 Giles
13 Grayson
14 Greene
15 Halifax
16 Henry
17 Highland
18 King William
19 Lee
20 Louisa
21 Lunenburg
22 Mecklenburg
23 Montgomery
24 Patrick
25 Pittsylvania
26 Pulaski
27 Russell
28 Scott
29 Smythe
30 Surry
31 Tazewell
32 Warren
33 Washington
34 Wise
35 Wythe

More about Virginia Laws

Mississippi

Today, almost one-half of the counties in Mississippi are dry. They have their own prohibition against the production, advertising, sale, distribution, or transportation of alcoholic beverages within their boundaries. It is even illegal to bring alcohol through a dry county in Mississippi while traveling.

The reason for such a high proportion of dry counties is clear. Mississippi is uniquely temperance-oriented. Mississippi imposed state-wide alcohol prohibition in 1907. That was over a dozen years before the rest of the country. It was the very first state to ratify the 18th Amendment to create National Prohibition. Following national rejection of Prohibition through Repeal, the state maintained its own state-wide prohibition for another one-third of a century. After that, it specifically ‘reaffirmed prohibition’ when it decided to permit local option regarding alcohol.

Kentucky

Kentucky has 120 counties. Fifty-five are completely dry. Thirty  are wet. In addition, the remaining 35 counties are ‘moist.”  That is, they fall somewhere between.

  • Certain counties allow the sale of alcoholic beverages by the drink on golf courses located in dry counties.
  • Some wineries legally operate within dry counties.
  • 16 cities within dry counties allow restaurants above a specified size to serve drinks.
  • 16 other wet cities exist in dry counties.
Texas

Of Texas’ 254 counties, 74 are completely dry and many of the rest are moist. The patchwork of laws can be confusing, even to residents. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram marveled at the complexity. For example, in some counties, only 4 percent beer is legal. In others, beverages that are 14 percent or less alcohol are legal. Yet in some “dry” areas, you can get a mixed drink by paying to join a “private club.” And in some “wet” areas you still need a club membership to get liquor-by-the-drink.

The newspaper demonstrates how variable the alcohol laws can be, even within small geographic areas. “Move from Fort Worth to Arlington and you’ll be surprised that you can buy beer but not wine at the grocery store. Move to Grand Prairie and you can’t even find beer there, but you can buy alcoholic drinks at restaurants in both towns. Then move to Burleson, which has alcohol sales in the Tarrant County portion of the city but not in the Johnson County side of town.”

Others

Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas and Virginia also have a large number of dry counties. Kansas was where Carrie Nation became well-known. She used her hatchet to destroy bars and terrify patrons.

Blue Laws

In addition, many counties and municipalities in the US are dry on Sunday or part of Sunday. That day is the Sabbath for most Christians. This is a result of Colonial-era Blue Laws. They were designed to promote Christianity.

 

 

 

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