“Here’s to alcohol: the cause of, and answer to, all of life’s problems.” -Homer Simpson
Living in New Orleans, I often forget how the rest of the country doesn’t act like we do. We can take our drinks to go, walk around with open containers, and be drunk before noon without anyone batting an eye. The booze here flows endlessly, but in some other places in the US, it doesn’t flow at all.
You’ve heard of “dry” counties—ones that prohibit alcohol sales. These antiquated, puritan laws are mainly the result of Christian denominations trying to keep their citizens upstanding and away from dangerous temptations. While alcohol consumption can lead to awful things like violence, sexual assault and drunk driving, people will always find a way to get their hands on a bottle. And now, some of these dry counties have a larger issue at hand…
People will always seek out vices
Even though most people associate the state of Kentucky with bourbon, they do have a whopping 39 dry counties out of 120. The rest are either “wet” or “moist,” meaning they allow alcohol sales, but only in certain situations. There are hundreds of dry counties in the US, and most of them are in the South.
Isn’t this a good thing?
You would think that less or no alcohol would be a boon. Sure, the counties would lose the tax money generated by alcohol sales, but it would provide for a safer environment for everyone, right? Not so fast. Just because it’s illegal doesn’t mean people can’t get to the booze. Just drive to another county to get your drink on or even buy it illegally. In a recent study, it was found that binge drinking and DUIs were often more common in dry counties. Why? People often go outside of county lines to drink and then come back hammered. Plus, the more illicit, the more appealing to some.