DISCUS

On Prohibition Repeal's 75th Anniversary, Some States Still Cling to Archaic Blue Laws

December 3, 2008 07:00 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Friday, December 5th marks the 75th anniversary of Prohibition Repeal, and the many states that have recently modernized outdated Blue Laws have reason to cheer, but a handful of others continue to suffer from Prohibition-era attitudes against alcohol.

In 1920, the 18th Amendment, popularly known as “Prohibition,” outlawed the sale and consumption of alcohol in the United States making America a “dry” country.  Thirteen years later most of the country agreed Prohibition was a total failure and overwhelmingly ratified the 21st Amendment repealing the 18th – to this day the only Constitutional amendment repealing another amendment.

“While the Government originally envisioned Prohibition to be a ‘noble experiment in social engineering,’ the effort completely failed to deliver its promised benefits and actually made things much worse,” said DISCUS President Peter Cressy, noting that Prohibition increased crime and exacerbated health issues. 

Cressy stated that Prohibition’s legacy continues to punish consumers and small business owners across the country – especially during this economic downturn.  Fifteen states still ban Sunday spirits sales at package stores.  Seven states ban all forms of spirits tastings.  Seven states continue some form of a ban on the sale of alcohol on state and national Election Days.

“Consumers deserve and are increasingly demanding more convenience,” Cressy said, adding that states are repealing outdated Blue Laws as a means to increase revenue without raising taxes.  He pointed to the national trend of states modernizing Sunday sales bans – noting that 13 states have repealed Sunday bans since 2002. 

“As America marks this historic Anniversary of Prohibition Repeal, let’s raise a toast to those states who took a stand 75 years ago against one of the biggest policy debacles in American history,” Cressy concluded.

For a complete list of current Blue Law states, visit ProhibitionRepeal.com or click here.

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