Describe your state's asinine liquor laws.

There are probably some exceptions out there, but no state in the U.S. that I’m aware of keeps it is as simple as it should be when it comes to selling beer/wine/liquor. “Here, I have some booze to sell; you can buy it if you’re old enough” would be nice, but there’s always a catch or twelve, some weird set of rules that are arbitrary or archaic or rooted in influence peddling, and that make it less convenient (or more expensive) for people to buy alcohol.
For instance, New York completely segregates wine & liquor from everything else. That is, if you sell wine & liquor, those are the only consumables you’re allowed to sell: no snacks, no beer, no tonic water or Tom Collins mix, nothing at all that a person might consume aside from wine or liquor.

I don’t know if this is true, but Wikipedia claims that “A provision unique to New York requires that every license to sell wine or spirits at retail for off-premises consumption be held by a single individual who lives within a few miles of the store and holds no other such licenses in the state. It was intended to prevent any chain liquor stores from doing business in the state, and none have ever done so.”

That’s actually kind of neat, but almost certainly horribly inefficient.

There are also some very restricting rules about who you can buy from wholesale, but I don’t understand or remember those.
So, how does your state fuck up drinking?

Can’t help you - I live in California, where you can buy vodka at grocery and convenience stores at 6am on Sundays and there are microbreweries frakking everywhere. We can mail-order wine, too. The only restriction I can think of is a prohibition on real Everclear.

Michigan: Actually, we’re pretty reasonable. A regular grocery store can sell beer, wine and liquor. They used to disallow alcohol sales prior to noon on Sundays, but that went away as well (I think the store needs to buy a special license, or maybe license addendum).

The state sets the price for hard liquor, so it’s the same price everywhere, and doesn’t go on sale. Beer and wine can go on sale.

ETA: mail-order wine: Not sure if that’s legal here. I remember some articles about that several years back. I think it had been allowed, but then there was some ruling about it. I’m not sure how it ended up.

This is not entirely accurate as exemptions to this rule are granted all the time.

Sundays in Indiana you can’t buy alcohol… unless you go to a bar/restaurant and are getting it by the drink. (There is a microbrewery exemption at the brewery itself). You also can’t buy cold beer in bulk except at specifically licensed liquor stores (convenience stores, grocery stores, etc only stock warm beer).

We can get some wine by mail order:

We also used to have a drive-through beer store here in Ann Arbor, but they had to close the drive-through part. From the Beer Depot’s website:

At least they were able to put their sign back after it blew down. But they were running into the city’s sign ordinance, not state liquor law.

Officially, we’re not allowed wine shipments in Michigan. However, they don’t enforce people shipping wine into Michigan. From what I can tell, the only thing they actually enforce are liquor stores in Michigan shipping to other people in Michigan.

On a practical level, that means I can’t order from the wine store a few hundred miles away from me that I used to get a monthly shipment from, but the Internet sites in New Jersey and California who I order from have no issue shipping me wine via FedEx. :smack: Completely stupid IMO.

And so that’s my entry into “asinine liquor laws”: make it so the in-state guys who’d I’d prefer to buy from have a hard time selling me wine, but don’t actually put any teeth into the law so the guys outside the state can still get my money. Good going, Michigan. That makes sense for all of us!

In New Hampshire, you can only buy liquor from state liquor stores. State liquor stores are conveniently located at state maintained rest areas on interstate highways.

Move over y’all, I live in Utah:

  1. Utah is a “control state,” meaning liquor (i.e. anything over 4% ABV) is sold only at state-run liquor stores, which are few and frankly inconvenient to get to for a lot of people.
  2. And closed on Sundays and all government holidays.
  3. Grocery stores can sell only beer with no more than 4% ABV. No wine, no liquor. (Conversely, liquor stores can’t sell food - or even sodas or mixers.)
  4. Same for the taps in bars and restaurants. No more than 4% ABV. Bottled beer can be higher.
  5. Restaurants that serve liquor (e.g. Applebees) must prepare the beverages behind a wall or partition, so that children cannot see the drinks being made. I’m not kidding, and it’s affectionately called the “Zion curtain.”
  6. You can’t have more than one alcoholic beverage in front of you at once. You can’t even order another drink until you’ve finished the one in front of you.

Georgia is a mixed bag. Recently, localities got the right to permit Sunday alcohol sales. Also, some counties are still semi-dry. Beer and wine sales are fine, but no liquor can be sold in those counties. Some counties have restaurant exemptions to the semi-dry rule.

Tift county, for example:
Beer or wine can be sold, warm or cold, seven days a week in the city of Tifton, but not on Sunday outside of city limits.
Package liquor sales are not permitted any time.
Single mixed drinks are available in certain restaurants and bars in Tifton.

Pennsylvania has notorious liquor laws. Some of the highlights:

  1. Cases of beer can only be sold at beer distributors. The distributors also sell snacks, soda, and tobacco but cannot sell any other kind of alcohol and cannot sell beer in quantities less than a case. I know of a couple in my area that have drive-thus.
  2. Liquor and wine can only be bought at state run stores. On the one hand, it’s convenient that the state has a website where you can get up-to-date stock status of all the liquor stores in your area. On the other, if the tequila you want to purchase isn’t on the small and arbitrarily constructed list the state has decided to stock, you’re kind of out of luck.
  3. Six packs of beer can only be bought in a bar or store that has an area where you can sit down and drink the beer. You may only leave the store with two six packs at a time. There is no limit to the number of times you can return for more in any time period.
  4. You cannot leave a bar or restaurant with an unopened bottle of wine you purchased. If you drink some of the wine on-site, however, you may take the rest of the bottle with you.
  5. All breweries, even those from out-of-state, must pay a fee to the state for their beer to be sold. Failure to pay this fee has resulted in bars being raided and beer seized.
  6. It was at least proposed that an exception be made to the liquor licensing to allow bed and breakfasts to give their guests two complementary bottles of wine from local vineyards. I’m not sure if this made it into law yet, though. I mention it both because it’d be funny if this is still illegal and also funny that our liquor laws are so unworkable that making this specific exception was done rather than do the sensible thing and overhaul the entire system.

Ooh, I forgot:

  1. Even bars and restaurants have to buy their liquor from the state liquor store…at retail cost. No wholesale. So drinks in bars are stupidly expensive.

PA liquor laws were mentioned above, and sadly, I don’t see a major overhaul any time soon. At the very least, state stores are probably going to be around for a long time – they bring in way too much money to the state.

I’ve had Massachusetts liquor laws explained to me, and they don’t make sense. Something about not being able to have more than 1 license per owner…blah blah.

The short answer is that you can’t buy beer/wine/liquor in most grocery stores, which is a pain in the arse.

But finding a liquor store isn’t any problem, so, you know.

This is all a good reason to never, ever visit Utah.

I don’t live there, but here’s a hilarious ad explaining why it’s necessary to keep alcohol out of convenience stores in Ontario.

There is also the civil service union supporting the continuance of the state stores because closing them means fewer civil service workers (yes, liquor store clerks are considered civil service workers). I feel bad disagreeing with this, since I AM a union civil service worker, but the PA liquor control system is just plain stupid and needs to be replaced with something sensible.

Perhaps, but not in any stores I’ve ever been to.

(I might have seen a few crappy bottles of wine in a grocery store once or twice. Maybe.)

ETA: I think it’s telling that there have been 16 replies (not including this one) in a little over an hour.

In my state, Arizona, it actually is as simple as “Here, I have some booze to sell; you can buy it if you’re old enough.” Any place can sell beer, wine, and liquor. Want some booze while you’re grocery shopping? If you’re 21, it’s yours. Want to get a six pack at the convenience store? No problem. Liquor sales are permitted seven days a week any time except between 2:00 am and 6:00 am, including election days.

Is that kid at the end supposed to be possessed by the Demon Rum? :dubious: