List of dry communities by U.S. state

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Map showing dry (red), wet (blue), and mixed (yellow) counties in the United States as of 2012.

The following list of dry communities by U.S. state details all of the counties and municipalities in the United States of America that ban the sale of alcoholic beverages.

For more background information, see: Dry county and Prohibition in the United States.

Overview[edit]

States that permit localities to go dry[edit]

33 states have laws which allow localities to prohibit the sale (and in some cases, consumption and possession) of liquor. Still, many of these states have no dry communities. Three states, Kansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee, are entirely dry by default: counties specifically must authorize the sale of alcohol in order for it to be legal and subject to state liquor control laws.

States that preclude dry communities[edit]

17 states have laws which preclude the existence of any dry counties whatsoever:

Alabama[edit]

Of the 67 counties in Alabama, 3 are completely dry, 23 are partially dry or "moist" (these counties contain cities that have voted to allow alcohol sales), and 41 are completely wet.[54] Within those 23 "moist" counties, 41 city governments have legalized alcohol sales inside their city limits.

Alaska[edit]

Three terms describing Alaskan Villages in common usage:

There is wide variation of restrictions placed on the possession and movement of alcohol in the "damp" villages, some villages permit residents to order alcohol from stores outside the ban area and have it shipped in, while other villages require the person owning the alcohol to personally bring the alcohol into their jurisdiction.

Arkansas[edit]

Connecticut[edit]

Florida[edit]

There are three dry counties in Florida: Lafayette County in North Central Florida and Liberty and Washington counties in the Florida Panhandle.[63]

Before 2012, Madison County was partially dry; it only allows beer sales if the beer's alcohol content was under 6.243 percent. Madison County voters repealed that law in 2012.[64][63][65] Suwannee County was was formerly dry, but county voters chose to go "wet" by a 2-1 margin in a 2011 vote.[63]

Various Florida counties and cities are wet, but have blue laws regulating alcohol sales on Sunday morning.[66][67]

Georgia[edit]

All Georgia counties are fully wet, with the exception of the following:

Illinois[edit]

Kansas[edit]

Kansas had prohibition longer than any other state, from 1881 to 1948, and continued to prohibit bars selling liquor by the drink until 1987. Both the 1948 amendment to the Kansas Constitution which ended prohibition and the 1986 amendment which allowed for open saloons provided that the amendments only would be in effect in counties which had approved the respective amendments, either during the election over the amendment itself or subsequently.

All counties in Kansas have approved the 1948 amendment, but 19 dry counties never approved the 1986 amendment and therefore continue to prohibit any and all sale of liquor by the drink.[84] Public bars (so-called "open saloons") are illegal in these dry counties. Another 59 counties (including Johnson County, the largest county in Kansas and the largest Kansas portion of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area) approved the 1986 amendment but with a requirement that to sell liquor by the drink, an establishment must receive 30% of its gross revenues from food sales.[85] Only 17 counties in Kansas approved the 1986 amendment without any limitation, allowing liquor to be sold by the drink without any food sales requirement.[86]

Kentucky[edit]

Of the 120 counties in Kentucky, 38 counties are dry, 33 are wet, and the remaining 49 are either "moist" or dry with special circumstances.[87]

Massachusetts[edit]

As of 2013, there were only eight completely dry towns in Massachusetts: Alford, Chilmark, Dunstable, Gosnold, Hawley, Montgomery, Mount Washington, and Westhampton.[88][89] The number of dry towns has decreased over time: according to the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, there were 20 dry towns in Massachusetts in 2000.[88]

Tisbury is a formerly dry town which became partially wet after voters passed a motion at the Tisbury town election on April 27, 2012. As in Rockport, alcoholic beverages may only be served to patrons who are consuming a full meal.[90]

Michigan[edit]

Minnesota[edit]

Nevada[edit]

New Hampshire[edit]

According to the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, only three towns in New Hampshire disallow the sale of alcoholic beverages: Ellsworth, Millsfield, and Monroe. (Other towns allow sales of alcohol, but with restrictions).[95][96] The most recent town to go "wet" is Sharon; the town voted to repeal its dry law in 2014.[96][97]

New Jersey[edit]

New Jersey has no dry counties, but as of 2013, 35 municipalities (out of 565 statewide) prohibit the retail sale of alcohol.[98] Most of the dry towns are in South Jersey, and some of them are dry because of their origins as Quaker, Methodist, or other Protestant religious communities.[99] Dry towns in New Jersey cannot forbid the possession, consumption, or transportation of alcohol, but have the option to permit or prohibit BYOB at restaurants and social affair permits for non-profit organizations.[100][101] It is possible for a dry town to have a winery or brewery that offers tastings, since alcohol manufacturing licenses in New Jersey are issued by the state, and are not regulated by municipalities.[102][103]

New York[edit]

North Carolina[edit]

Ohio[edit]

Oregon[edit]

Pennsylvania[edit]

South Carolina[edit]

South Dakota[edit]

Tennessee[edit]

Texas[edit]

Of Texas's 254 counties, 11[110] are completely dry, 194[110] are partially dry or "moist", and 49 are entirely wet. The vast majority of entirely wet counties are in southern border regions of Texas near Mexico, or in the south central portion. The patchwork of laws can be confusing, even to residents[citation needed]. In some counties, 4% beer is legal. In others, beverages that are 14% or less alcohol are legal. In some "dry" areas, a customer can get a mixed drink by paying to join a "private club," and in some "wet" areas a customer needs a club membership to purchase liquor by-the-drink, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The newspaper demonstrates how variable the alcohol laws can be, even within small geographic areas. "...Move to Burleson, which has alcohol sales in the Tarrant County portion of the city but not in the Johnson County side of town."[111] Today beer and wine can be purchased in all parts of Burleson. The only location in the county where liquor can be purchased is at a couple of stores inside the city limits of Alvarado.

A bill passed in 2003 by the Texas Legislature allows for Justice of the Peace precincts to host alcohol option elections. To date, this law has allowed many JP precincts, particularly in East Texas, to allow a vote that has resulted in many previously dry counties becoming "moist" and allowing sales of beer and wine, but not liquor.[112]

Texas law prohibits off-premises sale of liquor (but not beer and wine) all day on Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years day. Off-premises sale of beer and wine on Sunday is only allowed after 12:01 pm.

Texas law also prohibits the sale of alcohol in any "sexually oriented business" in a dry county. Strip clubs in these dry counties often sell "set ups" (a cup with coke, ice, and a stirrer to which one can add their own alcohol) and have a BYOB policy to allow patrons to bring their own alcohol into the establishment.

Virginia[edit]

Beer and wine sales are legal in all of Virginia.[113] Of the 95 counties in Virginia, 10 counties (Bland, Buchanan, Charlotte, Craig, Floyd, Grayson, Highland, Lee, Patrick and Russell) are dry in that retail sale of distilled spirits is prohibited.[113] Virginia cities are not subject to county alcohol laws as they are independent by state law, and all Virginia cities are wet.[113]

Wisconsin[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ A.S. Section 04.11.491
  3. ^ Ark. Code Title 3, Chapter 8
  4. ^ Cal. Bus. Code Section 25612.5
  5. ^ Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) Section 12-47-105
  6. ^ Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 545-30-9
  7. ^ Dela. Const. Art. XIII
  8. ^ Fla. Stat. Chapter 567
  9. ^ O.C.G.A. § 3-10-1
  10. ^ Idaho Stat. Section 23-917
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  12. ^ Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 242
  13. ^ Ky. Const. § 61
  14. ^ La. R.S. Section 26:147
  15. ^ Maine R.S. Title 28-A Section 121
  16. ^ Mass. Gen. L. 138-11
  17. ^ M.C.L. Section 436.2109
  18. ^ Minn. Stat. Section 340A.509
  19. ^ Miss. Code Section 67-1-3
  20. ^ N.H. Stat. Section 663:5
  21. ^ N.J. Stat. Section 33:1–40
  22. ^ N.M. Stat. Section 33:1–40
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  25. ^ O.R.C. Section 4301.35
  26. ^ R.I. Gen. L. Section 3-5-2
  27. ^ S.D.C. Chapter 35-3
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  32. ^ Chapter 66.40, R.C.W.
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External links[edit]