“I’ll ask one more time- how much have you had to drink, Mr. Roosevelt?”
~I don’t understand the officer, question
We hope you’re sitting down as you read this. Well, mainly because it’s shocking news, but also because it’d be sort of weird if you were reading this on your computer while standing up. No one likes the guy that has one of those walking-desks. Don’t by that guy. But we digress.
What we are here to tell you is that, despite America being, well, America…there are states among us that have barbaric laws limiting how much, or when, you can purchase alcohol. While some of these we will begrudgingly accept (try as we want to fight it, it seems that the government isn’t ready to endorse our “let liquor stores operate out of schools” proposal) others are downright archaic, making us wonder out loud if these state governments are run by the town from Footloose. Because where there is no booze, as we all know, there is no dancing.
“But AFFotD, that’s terrible! Just hearing about the regulation of alcohol gets me so mad I want to chug a bottle of tequila until I pass out and wake up wondering if the blood on my hands came from an animal or a person,” you no doubt just gargled at your computer screen mid-booze-chug. We are aware, and that’s why we’re here to help, giving you a comprehensive guide to the states you should avoid, you know, if you like alcohol.
America’s Most Alcohol Restrictive States
While google maps hasn’t added a feature to avoid driving through these alcohol-limiting states (yet) it’s best to avoid them. Especially when you consider things like…
Massachusetts Doesn’t Allow Happy Hours
Happy Hour is an American right, and a small business owner’s dream. If it weren’t for weekday bar specials, some Americans might only drink on the weekends, and five days of nation-wide sobriety is exactly how the Russians were able to successfully invade the West in Red Dawn. So while most states have Happy Hour, or at least some variation (say, daily specials) Massachusetts officials have long decided to undo all the good work that the city of Boston did towards our views of alcohol consumption by making it illegal to have a Happy Hour, or daily, special on drinks.
Yes, you heard us. The entire state banned drink specials, fearing that letting people save money on their liquor consumed after a hard day at work would, we don’t know, kill everyone with drunk driving. On top of telling 6.5 million people that they’re not allowed to have hours that are based on joy, the letter of the law also contains absurd demands like “one person can’t get more than two drinks given to them at a time,” “you can’t give away drinks as a prize” and “you may not serve a single patron an entire pitcher filled with bourbon.” For shame, Massachusetts.
Even worse, this means that you will never be able to go to a public event in Massachusetts that offers an “open bar.” We don’t know how this was ever upheld by the Supreme Court, as it’s clearly a direct violation of the 111th amendment (or maybe that’s the 11th. Cards on the table, we’ve had a few, and letters are sorta…blurry at the moment).
If you were wondering what monster was responsible for this law, look no further than failed 1988 presidential nominee, Michael Dukakis.
You may insert your own ominous soundtrack right here.
Mississippi Won’t Let You Drink Any Beer That is More Than 5% Alcohol
At some point in the 1980’s Americans slowly began to figure out that you could make beer taste good while also making it more likely to get you drunk. This is what we call, in the liquor business, as a “win-fucking-win” situation. So while we used to limit the strength of beer, every state realized that this was the beer equivalent of not letting an attractive woman wear a push-up bra. Except for one.
That’s right, Mississippi won’t let you have a high gravity beer. Depending on how you look at it, the cut off is 5% Alcohol by Weight or 6.3% Alcohol by Volume. That means that, when Mississippi hosted a craft beer festival, 90% of the highest ranked beers were too strong to legally be made available. That’s like hosting a convention for a Saved by the Bell cast reunion, and having Mr. Belding be the only one to show up.
When a state is so determined to stop their citizens from enjoying their beer that it forces us to dig a Saved by the Bell reference out of our asses, you know you’ve reached a new low in terms of legal idiocy. Goddamn it Mississippi, this is why you can’t have nice things.
Speaking of states that ruin everything…
Kansas Makes it Confusingly Difficult to Buy Booze
If you were looking for reasons to avoid Kansas outside of a mild but acceptable misinterpretation of the plot of Wizard of Oz, here’s where we can scares you. Kansas had a statewide prohibition that ran from 1881 to 1948. That’s sixty-five years that you couldn’t legally drink in that state. To make matters worse, they’ve still not ratified the 21st Amendment (you know, the one that said you can buy booze again). You couldn’t even buy liquor at bars until 1987.
As a result, many counties remain dry to this very day, only 19 counties have actual bars, (making going to a Kansas city with a population under 200,000 a terrifying game of “will there be a bar” roulette) and even places where you can drink have absurd limitations. For reference sake, below is a complete list (and we mean complete) of what types of alcoholic beverages you can consume in Kansas, if you’re lucky enough to be in a wet county (heh).
Alcoholic Liquor: Apart from being redundant, this is supposed to include most booze that’s more than 3.2% ABW. If you were under the impression that access to these kinds of was not hindered in any way, you must be reading a different article. Of course you can’t get any of this kind of liquor from a grocery store or a gas station—you have to go to a state-licensed retail liquor stores if you want a shot to get these. And are in the small part of the state where you can actually buy your damn booze. Goodamn it.
Cereal Malt Beverage: This is beer that has less than 3.2% alcohol, or as we like to call it in America, “*angry spit-take* what the fuck is this, a goddamn Zima?” This is the only beer you can buy in a grocery store, which might be a good clue as to way America hates vegetables so much.
Nonalcoholic Malt Beverage: Nope, moving on.
Domestic Table Wine: This would be wine that has 14% of less ABV, which means that while most wines are safe, we’re not too concerned about this one because wine to us is just tasty juice that gets you drunk.
Domestic Fortified Wine: Any wine between 14% and 20% ABV, which sounds like just the best kind of wine, has to come only from a Kansas winery. Up until now, we assumed that Kansas Wine was just a really bland sex position between two white people where the girl complains the whole time. We wouldn’t trust Kansas Fortified Wine to taste particularly good, is what we’re saying.
Domestic Beer: Even when they allow for microbreweries, they still cap the ABW at 8% for Kansas beers. That might explain why you’ve never tried a Kansas microbrew before—there is literally only one (now CLOSED) Microbrewery in the state (and only a dozen brewpubs).
What we’re trying to say is, don’t go back to Kansas, Dorothy. Oz is so much better.
Of course no discussion of prudish states can be complete without…
Utah is Full of Goddamned Mormons
What bothers you about liquor regulations? Well no matter what the issue is, Utah will regulate it. Not letting you buy real booze at grocery stores? Yup, Utah does that bullshit “No beer above 3.2% ABW allowed in grocery stores” thing that Kansas does. And if you want to buy liquor at a bar? Oh, hold on there, Utah has so few liquor licenses available that the waiting list doesn’t even begin for two years. Utah is so stingy about letting you serve beer that there was mild controversy around a law to let forty more restaurants in the entire state sell beer with their food.
Of course if you want to buy booze for your home (that’s above 3.2% ABW), you have to buy it through state-run liquor stores.
And of course no matter where you go, no matter the day, you can’t get a drink after 1AM, or as Americans like to call it, “I’m just getting started bitches, yeah I think I’ll give my ex a call, who’s unstable when they drink now Karen!?”
Of course this is what happens when you get a state run by a religion that thinks it’s a sin for you to even have caffeine. And you know what? Screw this state anyway. 70% of all Utah residents don’t have a problem with the alcohol restrictions, which means that Utah is the least American state in the nation. Hell, Puerto Rico won’t let us call it a state, but even they let you drink when you’re 18.
Man, now we’re depressed. All these poor people trapped in these states can’t appreciate the joys of, say, Tennessee (where you’re allowed to drink from an open container as the passenger of a car” or Nevada, which is, you know, Nevada. Well, if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go get shitfaced and go to a bar later than 1 in the morning, just to help offset that gross smell of sobriety wafting from Utah.