Everybody likes to go out and have a drink with friends, family or at some social gathering. A cocktail with dinner, a couple of beers at the sports bar with buddies, a girls night out with some wine, etc. This is a pretty normal occurrence anywhere in the U.S. However, there are 7 states that still do not realize it is now 2017, not 1917 or 1817! These are listed in no particular order.

  1. It’s a common practice for most people to set up a tab with the bartender as they enjoy a few drinks with friends on a night out. Not in Iowa however. The Hawkeye State prohibits running a tab. So in that state you must pay for each drink separately.
  2. What a great feeling it is to pop open a cold beer on a hot summer day. Unfortunately, in Oklahoma, any beverage containing 4-percent alcohol by volume can only be sold at room temperature in licensed liquor stores. So unless you’re bringing it from home already cold, too bad for you. Yuk, warm beer even on a cold winter day tastes terrible.
  3. Moore County, Tennessee, as you may, or may not know, is home to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. It’s also a dry county. Until a few years ago you were served a glass of lemonade at the end of the tour. Thankfully, new legislation allows visitors to have a tiny, and we do mean tiny, taste of the legendary whiskey when visiting the facility.
  4. Everyone enjoys the idea of getting out of the office a little early for Happy Hour after a hectic day. But not if you are residing in Massachusetts. The Bay State forbids businesses from running any happy-hour specials calling the ban a public safety measure.
  5. In certain parts of the South, where liquor laws can range from draconian to lackadaisical, Georgia falls into the latter category. The best example is that the Peach State has no law against drinking in public. That means residents and visitors to Savannah and other cities in the state can enjoy a cold beverage in the city’s squares and parks. Yee-haw!
  6. You couldn’t purchase alcohol on Election Day in the state of South Carolina. The law actually goes back to the late 1800s when polling stations were often set up in saloons on Election Day. However, the law was done away with in 2014. So now you can purchase alcohol to either celebrate the election or drown your sorrows.
  7. This may be the most ridiculous of all the crazy laws. Naturally it would come from the state of Utah and their “Zion Curtain” rule. In an effort to keep children from seeing alcoholic drinks being prepared, the state requires restaurants to mix or pour drinks behind an opaque barrier. This can be attributed to the Mormon Church, which bans alcohol use among its parishioners. (Yeah, like the Mormons really don’t drink at all!)


So the next time you are out and about and happen to be in any of those states be careful. Then again, if you are in Georgia, go ahead have that cold one out in the park. Be warned, those seven laws regarding alcohol are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to crazy laws in various states that are still on the books. We’ll look into more of this idiocy in a future column. Now, unless you live in Massachusetts, go enjoy Happy Hour!


Art Koch, National Features & DVD Editor, NightMoves Magazine and AAN