Discriminatory Alcohol Law Struck Down in Kentucky

Kentucky law has long prohibited grocery stores and gas station convenience stores from selling either wine or distilled spirits. This appears to have resulted from the false belief that beer is less alcoholic than either wine or spirits, although standard drinks of beer, wine and spirits contain equivalent amounts of absolute alcohol (6/10 of one ounce).

However, this illogical law has now been overturned by a federal judge. United States District Judge John G. Heyburn, II, found no reason “why a grocery-selling drugstore like Walgreens may sell wine and liquor, but a pharmacy-selling grocery store like Kroger cannot.” He observed that the state of Kentucky couldn’t explain the logic on which the law was based and he couldn't think of any himself.

Alcohol laws based on false beliefs are hard to defend.


  • Source Cameron, Duncan H. Federal judge strikes down Kentucky’s retail rules. Wisconsin Beverage Guide, 2012, 12(10), 2.

Filed Under: Legal

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