Moonshiners Question

Although this question is about the TV show’ Moonshiners’, it’s really a legal question.

I enjoy watching the Discovery Channel show ‘Moonshiners’, and I’m fascinated to see how brazen these people are showing exactly how they make, hide and sell illegal liqueur.

Why doesn’t law enforcement just arrest these guys based on their documented activities? This isn’t a recreation, it’s real people committing real crimes.

Isn’t the production company aiding and abetting illegal activities, assuming they compensate these people. I can’t believe they are risking their freedom just for the fun of it.

So how does this kind of reality TV show work?

Probably because it’s not submittable as evidence for reasons beyond me.

EDIT: Also probably because there’s zero actual proof they’re doing anything illegal. They could just be mixing water with other containers full of water with more or less dirt in it than the first container. Nothing has been legally substantiated as actually being illegal. The police can’t just show up and say, “hey you’re on that Moonshiners show, you’re under arrest.”

I use to cook the alcohol off of batches of wine I wasn’t happy with. Usually not more than 5 gal, I had no idea I was breaking the law when I did that.

I have wondered this myself, including when on the show “The Colony” the colonist made distilled liquor and drank some, the rest was used for fuel.

I just just chalk it up to one of those wonderfully good things of life that God overrules all human laws and enforcement because it is right.

Yeah. I’m also really curious how this all works, legally.

Half the show is the law enforcement side. Why would they cooperate with a show that shows how to make and conceal a still?

And aren’t the moonshiners, at minimum, risking some serious legal harrassment once the show has aired?

I didn’t see the whole thing, but a couple of the guys are digging a tunnel to hide their still. It looks like so they can use if over a long period of time. Why would they reveal their plans?

I can’t believe there’s such a large market for illegal (possibly dangerous and with it the risk of imprisonment) booze when cheap, safe. legal booze is readily available.

This isn’t exactly rocket science, guys. Chances are your local library has copies of the Foxfire books, which included detailed instructions on how to make, hide & use your very own still. It’s been in print for decades. Also, each and every homebrew supply store has at least a couple books which include instructions on how to make several kinds of still, the parts to which you could have sitting out in your kitchen and wouldn’t raise any eyebrows even if you hosted a Policeman’s Ball. Plus, there’s the internet. They’re just not going to any great effort to keep people from learning how to do this.

As far as actually doing this is concerned, the cops aren’t beating themselves to death tracking down every miscreant because they have significantly more serious crimes to deal with: true, it’s a felony, but just like growing & distributing marijuana, the feds would rather deal with huge operations and shut down major pipelines & supply chains, rather than shutting down Pa Worthing and the corn likker still he keeps hidden out in the back 40.

There was an article about this when the show first came out. They acknowledged that they (the moonshiners) were not actually making any alcohol at the time of filming and the ATF agent would have arrested them if they had been. Just like Goldrush, this is an augmented reality series.

They probably shoot it in a week, maybe less, then stretch it out over a season.

What do you mean by “cooking off”? Do you mean actually distilling (and making a grape brandy of sorts) or do you mean just boiling the alcohol off? The latter isn’t illegal.

ETA: Oh, or is your point that they don’t actually show the distilling process, just the boiling? I’ve never seen the show myself.