U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Alabama
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 08-23-2008, 11:42 PM
3,931 posts, read 8,508,501 times
Reputation: 3102


Im from up north, but I heard there is dry countys in Alabama where you cant buy a drink?

Why is this allowed? I mean its your right to drink a beer if you want
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 08-24-2008, 04:27 AM
Location: Alabama
50 posts, read 219,165 times
Reputation: 53
I believe there are still a few dry counties in Alabama, but that doesn't stop anyone, just like no Sunday alcohol sales doesn't stop anyone. These are archaic laws left over from another era that the south just can't let go of. It isn't 2008 in some places here, it is still 1928. I live in Gadsden, which isn't in a dry county, but doesn't have Sunday alcohol sales yet. People just buy what they need on Saturday night, or hop in the car for a quick trip down I-59 to Trussville where you can buy it on Sundays.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2008, 04:52 AM
377 posts, read 1,096,938 times
Reputation: 480
DeKalb county, where Ft. Payne is located, north of Gadsden, is a dry county. The city of Ft. Payne went "wet" about two years ago, and the rules are strictly enforced. The county remains dry, so restaurants not within city limits cannot sell alcohol. As far as the south goes, it's mostly a "biblebelt" thing. The city residents of Ft. Payne voted in going wet. The same could happen with the county, but it takes time and interest, which is what's really lacking (again the biblebelt concept) plus being mostly rural. You can buy liquor at state-run liquor stores and beer and wine in privately owned stores (inside city limits), just not in the county. I'm not sure about Sunday sales (most stores are closed on Sunday anyway), but I think you can purchase drinks in a restaurant for consumption on-premises.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2008, 05:53 AM
Location: Alabama
50 posts, read 219,165 times
Reputation: 53
You can if a restaurant/club has a special private license for Sunday sales. There were a couple in Gadsden that did that, but it's so expensive to get a license like that, most places won't bother. Sunday alcohol sales in Etowah County was voted down by only a very slim margin last time. When it comes up for a vote again, everyone expects it to pass.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2008, 07:01 AM
13,773 posts, read 32,436,281 times
Reputation: 10491
Living in a dry county and a dry city I can tell you it is those who believe in the evils of alcohol. Last time there was a vote to go 'wet' we lost by 16 votes. They campaign against it saying it is to protect the kids from drinking, but you can drive 10 miles to to buy beer, wine or booze. Of course I would never do that!!

We are scheduled to vote again soon. I think the state should go 'wet' but those that run for political office are afraid they will loose campaign money if they dare do such a thing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2008, 10:14 AM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,410 posts, read 49,575,960 times
Reputation: 26286
"Dry" means that the SALE of alcohol is prohibited. Consumption on your own property is not, so you can drink that beer you bought in a wet county.

The relationship of southerners to alcohol is a lot different and more complicated than in other areas I have lived. Yes, the blue laws still exist in the rural south, if not by actual law, then by common agreement of the long time residents.

Church is a big thing. Local businesses close on Sunday. A lot of folks won't work on Sunday. Wednesday night is reserved for church functions and Bible classes. School sports are Friday; yard sales are Friday and Saturday, but not Sunday.

Churchgoers co-exist with the rednecks and sinners, but only on certain terms. There is an out of the way flea market in Ardmore for the less pious that is open Sunday morning and Monday morning, but not Saturday. It doesn't interfere with anyone, and is well behaved, so no one complains.

Likewise, the deeply religious of some churches look down on drinking alcohol, but in the past have kept quiet when a neighbor set up a moonshine still. I have one neighbor who had a grandfather who was a moonshiner, another neighbor who is religious, a teatotaller, and thinks his own father might have been killed by bad alcohol, and I can point out the locations where a couple of old stills used to be, according to the long time residents.

In the past pre-drugs days, dry counties satisfied the moral sensibilities of the churchgoers, while quietly encouraging the sale of moonshine, which kept some of the less religious, but industrious hillside farmers from abject poverty. There was a known, but unsaid status quo and truce based on pragmatism.

Not a heck of a lot has changed, and every once in a while helicopters will fly over now, looking for hidden patches of weed instead of hidden stills. The locals (and police) have suspicions of who might be involved in illicit activities, but unless their behavior is outrageous or too big, are likely to live and let live. It can be hard to understand the relationships, so we just try to stay out of the crossfire.

To give another feel for the relationship to alcohol in Alabama, when I first moved from the north to Birmingham (wet county), I was very surprised that a smallish state owned liquor outlet more than adequately served the entire east half of the city, including the Mountain Brook area, which was upper crust, and in other cities would be a huge consumer of liquors and wines.

Things aren't always what they seem on the surface.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2008, 11:04 AM
Location: Floribama
12,874 posts, read 28,408,754 times
Reputation: 10858
Monroe County is a "dry county", and it's next county north of where I live. I can tell you if folks in Monroe County want liquor, they will get it. Often times the small country stores will have beer stashed in the back somewhere and will sell it to their "special customers" . If they don't do that they simply drive to my county and buy it and then go back home. I have seen many alcoholics who live in Monroe County.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2008, 11:21 AM
Location: Huntsville native
842 posts, read 1,978,916 times
Reputation: 488
Also, Alabama is one of only 2 states where homebrewing is illegal and one of 3 states with the ridiculous 6% limit on ABV in beer. We are the only state that limits the container size a beer can be sold at 160z. So yeah, beer choices are severely limited here even if you live in a wet county or town. Google "Free the Hops" for more info.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2008, 11:36 AM
Location: Floribama
12,874 posts, read 28,408,754 times
Reputation: 10858
I guess I have it made where I live. I can drive a mile down the road into Florida and buy liquor at a drive up-window on Sunday.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2008, 12:50 PM
4,435 posts, read 8,155,358 times
Reputation: 3479
IIRC there are 26 dry counties in Alabama, which has 67 counties...

Following the era of Prohibition, each state individually decided how alcoholic beverages would be managed within its borders. The people of Alabama did not want alcoholic beverages marketed like soup and soft drinks. Recognizing the lethal potential of alcohol, Alabama citizens demanded its rigorous control.
State of Alabama - ABC Board (http://www.abc.alabama.gov/about.aspx - broken link)


Free The Hops | Alabamians For Specialty Beer

BTW, 'beerlicious' is a neologism originated by Danner Kline, founder of Free the Hops, during a Daily Show with Jon Stewart interview...

Free The Hops | Alabamians For Specialty Beer

Also, Wal-Mart contributes to wet / dry campaigns:

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Alabama
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2017, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 - Top