15 Insane US Drinking Laws You’ve Definitely Never Heard Of
America has always had a very strange, love/hate relationship with drinking. I mean, Americans love to booze it up and yet, we were a country that (kind of) embraced Prohibition.
With a national drinking age of 21, you're allowed to sign your life away to the service of this country, but you're not old enough to have a beer. The global average drinking age is 15.9. With the US stuck with a drinking age of 21, that's 5.1 years older than the global average.
As a result of our bizarre, ever-changing relationship with drinking, it can't be too surprising that we also have some weird laws to reflect that relationship.
After some careful Internet scouring, a genuine bounty of curiosity and as a self-proclaimed Alcohol Aficionado myself, here are 15 of the weirdest drinking laws in the United States.
1. In Ohio, it's illegal to get a fish drunk.
This gives the term “fish bowl” a whole new meaning. Just because you can't give Sonny — your metaphorical gold fish — any Jame-O, doesn’t mean you should stop drinking like a real fish.
2. In Tennessee, picking up the booze means two stops every time.
For some reason, this state wants to make getting your cocktail ingredients as difficult as possible. In Tennessee, you can't buy any sort of mixers in the same location as where liquor is sold.
So, if you're planning a trip to this Southern state, get used to the idea of multiple stops in the quest to get drunk.
3. In Iowa, it's illegal to “run a tab.”
A “tab,” for those of you who were born and raised inside of a cave, is when you leave your credit card at the bar so you can continuously order drinks throughout the night and pay one lump sum once you're ready to go home — aka, never.
4. In Alaska, you better not be giving alcoholic beverages to a moose.
Why would you give a moose Grey Goose? Are you trying to get that moose real loose? Well, you should know that if you're feeding shots to your horned animal friend on “The Last Frontier,” you could be doing some embarrassing jail time as a result.
5. In Massachusetts, Happy Hour doesn't exist.
There is no happiness in Massachusetts. Happiness is dead.
6. In Colorado, you can't ride on a horse while intoxicated.
Horses are animals — large animals. So, if you're “heavily” intoxicated, riding one of these majestic beasts could certainly be as dangerous as driving a car. If you've been swilling down a six-pack of Natty Ice in Colorado and then you decide to make a beer run on your trusty steed, think again.
7. In Texas, your chugging has some serious limitations.
For whatever reason, Texas has a law that says you can only take three sips of beer while standing. While this won't affect your game of Aces, you can bet your alcohol tolerance that it'll put a damper on a wholesome game of flip cup. If you're visiting the good old land of the Cowboys, you better rely on shotgunning while seated.
8. In Louisiana, you had better stay away from glass containers.
There are essentially zero laws enforcing a curb on drinking in any real sense in the Pelican State. Remember those pesky open container laws that kept you from drinking a Four Loko on the train? Forget those!
If you want to carry your beverage from one bar to the next, go ahead, man; we're all good here. BUT, not so fast: If your cup is made of glass, all of this liberty goes out the window.
Glass is breakable and, therefore, a “safety hazard.” So, if you want to embrace the legality of strolling down the street with a Mai Thai, you better remember to bring your plastic, grown-up sippy cup. (Yes, I have one. Why are you looking at me like that? It says it’s for adults.) Forget that brawl taking place 4 feet away from you; as long as you're tumbler is plastic, you're safety is clearly ensured.
9. In Pennsylvania, you can buy wine from a vending machine.
When I think of Pennsylvania, I think of endless miles of wooded forests, log cabins and warmth from a crackling fireplace, not Space Age wine vending machines. (So, when am I moving to PA? JK, kind of).
Equipped with a Breathalyzer and an ID scanner, the state's supermarkets are home to high-tech liquor robots that are like something out of “Star Trek.” Just step up, prove you're not already drunk (and not stealing someone else's identity) and you could be clutching a bottle of white zin in a matter of moments.
10. In Oklahoma, your beer is going to be warm.
If you live in Oklahoma, patience is more than just a virtue; it's a survival skill. In the good ol' (ironically named, considering) Sooner State, any beer that's over 4 percent alcohol — ahem, any beer worth drinking — has to be sold at room temperature.
Why is this a law? I have no idea, but I would suggest buying a bottle of whiskey so that you can enjoy a friendly neat while your beer is chilling in the fridge.
11. No drinking on Election Day in South Carolina or Kentucky.
This seems a bit sad for both the winner and the loser of said election. No enthusiastic champagne poppin' with the confetti flyin' nor sad whiskey swigging alone in your dark bedroom while you cry over a Danielle Steele novel.
12. In Missouri, you can't put your drugs in your cocktails.
I know, what a bummer, right? If I head down to the old Show Me (your hands!) state, I'm going to miss my cocaine n' Corona specialty.
Why is this a thing the state government officials felt they needed to pen into the books? Was there some huge drug and alcohol mixture conspiracy in Mizzou that I'm unaware of? Someone comment below and tell me!
13. No discounts on alcohol in North Dakota.
The use of coupons on alcoholic purchases is absolutely not allowed in the northern of the two Dakotas. You're SOL, coupon fiends.
14. Nebraska is not cool with your drunken tomfoolery.
You cannot husk the corn of the cute bartender in the Corn Husker state. Nebraska law forbids any sort of PDA between bar employees and the bar's patrons. So, in other words, the most fun thing about heavy drinking is outlawed in Nebraska. Nebraska: killers of fun.
15. Florida proudly supports the red, white and blue.
Florida may be a lot of things, but one thing it is not is unpatriotic. The Sunshine State allows military members to import up to a gallon of hooch without having to pay taxes on it. Other citizens have no such luck.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It
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