Pennyslvania’s laws on booze had been, up until recently, among the country’s most restrictive, in part due to the state’s Quaker heritage, and the penalties for importing wine under the old laws could get very, very serious. A judge in the state last year, for example, ordered over 1,300 bottles of wine to be poured down the drain to penalize a man who allegedly illegally imported the wine from California and Germany, among other places. (He struck a deal to keep 1,000 other bottles.)

Elsewhere, America’s liquor laws don’t get much more rational. In Massachusetts, for example, happy hours are illegal. In Utah, home to the country’s most specific prohibitions, no beer on tap can be more than 4.0 percent alcohol, you have to order food with your booze at restaurants, you can’t order doubles, and, for restaurants open after July 2012, cocktails will be mixed only out of the sight of customers. In Maine, you can’t buy a drink after 9 a.m. on Sundays, except when that Sunday happens to be St. Patrick’s Day. In Louisiana, you can buy a daiquiri in a drive-through but can’t drive with it if a straw is inserted into the cup. In Nevada, you can drink pretty much anywhere and public drunkenness simply isn’t a crime. –The Weird and Very Long History of State Liquor Laws

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story in which the conflict is driven by strict regulations on recreational compounds.

Journaling Prompt: What do you believe about liquor laws?

Art Prompt: Liquor laws

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of liquor laws in your town and state.

Photo Credit: Aaron Gustafson on Flickr

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