Alcohol Prohibition



Alcohol Prohibition in the news

Alcohol amendment fizzles out 

Lebanon Enterprise - Jan 02 10:54 AM
Bars and restaurants in Lebanon will be allowed to serve alcohol by the drink this New Year's Eve. Bars and restaurants in the rest of the county will not.
When everyday duty merits thanks 
Corvallis Gazette Times - Jan 02 7:35 PM
I recently had an e-mail exchange with Mark O’Brien, the owner of the downtown American Dream Pizza and Crowbar, over what had become a sticky point: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, when publicizing the names of those who sold alcohol to under-aged bar or tavern patrons, also wanted us to thank those who had refrained from breaking this law.

Social, religious funds have big returns 
AP via Yahoo! News - Jan 02 1:47 PM
Wall Street presumably isn't a place where those hoping to mend their ways in the new year might turn for inspiration. But some investors looking to better align their social or religious convictions with their investments have found sizable returns.

Be it resolved: It's time to bid adieu, remembering the past but looking ahead to the future 
Daily Southtown - Dec 31 2:22 AM
In the Roaring Twenties, it was Prohibition be damned on New Year's Eve. A story in the Jan. 2, 1929 edition of the Southtown Economist was headlined "New Year Is Greeted With Alcohol Glee."

- Acohol Prohibition

Here is an article on Alcohol Prohibition.

The term Prohibition, also known as Dry Law, refers Alchol Prohibition to a law in a certain country by which the manufacture, transportation, import, export, and sale Acohol Prohibition of alcoholic beverages is restricted or illegal. The term also applies to the periods in the histories Alochol Prohibition of the countries during which the prohibition was Alchool Prohibition enforced. Usually the term as referred to a historical Alcool Prohibition period is applied to countries of European culture. In the Muslim World, consumption of alcoholic beverages has been forbidden Alohol Prohibition by Islam.

In the early twentieth century, much of the Alcohl Prohibition impetus for the prohibition movement in the Nordic countries and North America Alcoho Prohibition came from Protestant wariness of alcohol.

The first Aclohol Prohibition half of the 20th century saw periods of prohibition of alcoholic beverages in several countries:

  • 1920 to 1933 Alcohool Prohibition in the United States
  • 1914 to 1925 in Russia and the Soviet Union
  • 1915 to 1922 Alcphol Prohibition in Iceland (though beer was still prohibited until 1989)
  • 1916 to Alcohil Prohibition 1927 in Norway (wine and beer also included in 1917)
  • 1919 to 1932 in Alcoholl Prohibition Finland (called kieltolaki)
  • 1901 to 1948 in Prince Edward Island, and for shorter Alcoohl Prohibition periods in other locations in Canada


  • 1 United States
  • 2 Canada
  • 3 Britain
  • 4 Nordic countries
  • 5 Russia and Soviet Union
  • 6 Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia
  • 7 South Asia
  • 8 Australia
  • 9 Brunei
  • 10 The Maldives
  • 11 Further reading
  • 12 See also
  • 13 External links

United States

"Prohibition enforced," as illustrated by a USPS stamp.
Main article: Prohibition in the United States

The prohibition or "dry" movement began in the 1840s, spearheaded by pietistic religious denominations, especially the Methodists. After some success in the 1850s, the movement lost strength. It revived in the 1880s with the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the Prohibition Party. After 1900 many states, especially in the South, enacted prohibition, along with many counties. Hostility to saloons and their political influence was characteristic of the Progressive Era. Supported by the anti-German mood of World War I, the Anti-Saloon League, working with both major parties, pushed a Constitutional amendment through Congress and the states, taking effect in 1920. Also, even though the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote was not ratified until late in 1920, the Women's suffrage movement had been exerting an increasing amount of influence over political events since 1914. Alcohol prohibition had been an issue that they had also fought for as much as for the right to vote.

From 1920 to 1933, the "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes" was prohibited in the United States. However, note that according to the text, the purchase, possession and consumption of alcohol was not prohibited. There were notable exceptions for small quantities of home-made wine for personal use as opposed to being made for sale. This was most commonly referred to as the Dry Law. Nationwide prohibition was accomplished by means of the Eighteenth Amendment to the national Constitution (ratified January 16, 1919) and the Volstead Act (passed October 28, 1919). Prohibition began on January 16, 1920. The 18th amendment was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment on December 5, 1933. The 18th Amendment is the only amendment to be repealed by another amendment of the Constitution. States have the right to restrict or ban the purchase and sale of alcohol; this has led to a patchwork of laws, in which alcohol may be legally sold in some but not all towns or counties within a particular state. Mississippi, which went dry in 1907, was the last state to repeal prohibition, in 1966. There are numerous "dry" counties or towns where no liquor may be sold, although it can legally be brought in for private consumption.


Main article: Prohibition in Canada

An official, but non-binding, federal referendum was held in 1898 on prohibition, receiving 51.3% for and 48.7% against prohibition on a voter turnout of 44%. Prohibition had a majority in all provinces, except for Quebec, where a strong 81.10% voted against [1]. Despite majority, Wilfrid Laurier's government chose not to introduce federal bill on prohibition, mindful of strong antipathy in Quebec.

As a result, Canadian prohibition was instead enacted through laws passed by the provinces during the first twenty years of the 20th century. Prince Edward Island was the first to bring in prohibition in 1900. Alberta and Ontario passed a prohibition law in 1916. Quebec passed legislation in 1918 that would prohibit alcohol in 1919 for the duration of World War I. However, since the war ended in 1918, prohibition was never implemented in the province. The provinces then repealed their prohibition laws, mostly during the 1920s. Quebec was first to repeal in 1920, giving it the shortest amount of time with prohibition enforced; Prince Edward Island was last in 1948. Alberta repealed in 1924, along with Saskatchewan, upon realizing that the laws were unenforceable.

Realizing that they could not stop people from drinking entirely, temperance advocates successfully pressured all provincial and territorial governments to curtail the sale of liquor as much as possible through the tight control of liquor control boards.


Prohibition was never enacted in Britain, but it was promoted by Liberals such as David Lloyd George, especially those with a political base in Methodist areas such as Wales. In World War I, Britain restricted the amount of alcohol available, taxed it, and drastically reduced the hours of opening for pubs. After the war, restrictions on quantity were dropped, but taxes were raised and pub hours restricted. The pub remained a British institution, but sobriety increased. Licensed pubs in England and Wales numbered 88,739 in 1913; 82,054 in 1922; and 77,821 in 1930. Consumption of beer fell from 35 million barrels in 1913 to 13 million in 1918, recovering to 27 million by 1920, and settling to 20 million barrels after 1927. Whisky and other spirits declined dramatically: from 31.7 million proof gallons in 1913 to 22 million in 1920 and 10 million in 1930. Convictions for drunkenness declined sharply as well: in 1913 the number was 153,112 men and 35,765 women; in 1922 63,253 men and 13,094 women; in 1930 44,683 men and 8,397 women. [Statistical Abstract of U.K., 1930 pp. 88]

Nordic countries

The Nordic countries, with the exception of Denmark, have had a long temperance tradition. Prohibition was enforced in Iceland from 1915 to 1922 (with beer prohibited until 1989), in Norway from 1916 to 1927 and in Finland between 1919 and 1932. Sweden utilized a rationing system (Brattsystemet or "motboken") between 1914 and 1955; a referendum on total prohibition held in 1922 failed. Alcohol was still prohibited in The Faroe Islands until 1992. Nordic countries today, with the exception of Denmark, strictly control the sale of alcohol. There are government monopolies in place for selling liquors, wine and stronger beers to consumers, in Norway (Vinmonopolet), Sweden (Systembolaget), Iceland (Vínbúðin) and Finland (Alko). Corporations, like bars and restaurants, may import alcoholic beverages directly or through other companies. The temperance movement in Scandinavia (parts of which are affiliated with the International Organisation of Good Templars), which advocates strict government regulations concerning the consumption of alcohol, have seen a decline in membership numbers and activity during the past decades but are now on the rise again, in example Swedish IOGT-NTO having a net gain of 12,500 members in 2005.

  • see"kieltolaki" on Finnish Wikipedia)

Russia and Soviet Union

Main article: Prohibition in Russian Empire and Soviet Union

In the Russian Empire, a variant of the Dry Law was introduced in 1914. It continued through the turmoil of the Russian Revolutions and the Russian Civil War into the period of Soviet Russia and the Soviet Union until 1925.

Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia

Saudi Arabia completely bans the production, importation or consumption of alcohol and imposes strict penalties on those violating the ban, including weeks to months of imprisonment, and possible lashes, as does Kuwait. While this is Saudi Arabia's official position, there is widespread violation of the law by Saudi citizens rich enough to flout the law. There are also establishments in the country where pork can be purchased, as well as alcohol. During the Gulf War in 1991, the Coalition banned its troops in Saudi Arabia from drinking alcohol in order to show respect for local beliefs.

Qatar bans the importation of alcohol and it is a punishable offense to drink alcohol or be drunk in public. Offenders may incur a prison sentence or deportation. Alcohol is, however, available at licensed hotel restaurants and bars, and expatriates living in Qatar can obtain alcohol on a permit system.

The United Arab Emirates restricts the purchase of alcohol from a liquor store to non-Muslim foreigners who have UAE residence permits and who have an Interior Ministry liquor license. However bars, clubs, and other establishments with liquor licenses do not face the same restrictions. Alcohol was first permitted in Bahrain, known to be the most progressive Gulf state and the earliest to prosper, popular with those crossing the causeway from Saudi Arabia.

Iran began restricting alcohol consumption and production soon after the 1979 Revolution, with harsh penalties meted out for violations of the law. However, officially recognized non-Muslim minorities are allowed to produce wine for their own private consumption and for religious rites such as the Eucharist.

Alcohol was banned in Afghanistan during the rule of the Taliban. In the wake of the ousting from power of the Taliban, the ban was lifted for foreigners, who can buy alcohol in certain shops on presentation of their passport to prove they are foreigners.

Libya bans the import, sale and consumption of alcohol, with heavy penalties for offenders. Tunisia and Morocco have a selective ban on alcohol, with consumption and sale being allowed in special zones or bars "for tourists".citation needed]Sudan has banned all alcohol consumption and extends serious penalties to offenders.citation needed]

South Asia

Some areas of India are dry, for example the State of Gujarat and Mizoram. Certain national holidays such as Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti (birthdate of Mahatma Gandhi) are meant to be dry nationally.

Pakistan allowed the free sale and consumption of alcohol for three decades from 1947, but restrictions were introduced by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto just weeks before he was removed as prime minister in 1977. Since then, only members of non-Muslim minorities such as Hindus, Christians and Zoroastrians are allowed to apply for permits for alcohol. The monthly quota depends on their income but is usually about five bottles of liquor or 100 bottles of beer. In a country of 140 million, only about 60 outlets are allowed to sell alcohol and has only one legal brewery, Murree Brewery in Rawalpindi. Enforced by the country's Islamic Ideology Council, the ban is strictly policed. However, members of religious minorities often sell their liquor permits to Muslims and a black market trade in alcohol continues. [1]

Bangladesh has also imposed prohibition, though some hotels and restaurants are licensed to sell alcohol to foreigners. Foreigners (but not locals) are allowed to import small quantities of alcohol for personal use.


The first consignment of liquor for Canberra, following the repeal of prohibition laws in 1928.

Alcohol is prohibited in many remote indigenous communities across Australia. Penalties for transporting alcohol into these "dry" communities are severe and can result in confiscation of any vehicles involved. In dry areas within the Northern Territory, all vehicles used to transport alcohol are seized and there is no right of appeal.

There have been various places proclaimed alcohol free in the past, including Australia's capital city, Canberra, which was dry from 1910 to 1928. The politician King O'Malley ran legislation through Federal Parliament in Melbourne at the time the capital territory was established. When Federal Parliament moved from Melbourne to Canberra in 1927, one of the first pieces of legislation passed in the new Parliament House was the repeal of O'Malley's prohibition laws.

A number of Melbourne's suburbs had a long running prohibition on the sale (though not consumption) of alcohol. One or two still exist. Ascot Vale was founded as a dry suburb, but hotels were soon built at the outside corners of the settlement.

Similarly, the irrigation settlement of Mildura was also founded with a prohibition on the sale of alcohol in 1887. This was inaugurated by its founders, the Chaffey brothers. However, the brothers also operated a winery, even producing fortified wine. Alcohol was readily available from nearby Wentworth however, and the ban was eventually lifted.


Non-Muslims may bring small quantities of alcohol into Brunei for personal consumption.

The Maldives

The Maldives ban the import of alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are available only to foreign tourists on resort islands and may not be taken off the resort.

Further reading

  • Susanna Barrows, Robin Room, and Jeffrey Verhey (eds.), The Social History of Alcohol: Drinking and Culture in Modern Society (Berkeley, Calif: Alcohol Research Group, 1987)
  • Susanna Barrows and Robin Room (eds.), Drinking: Behavior and Belief in Modern History University of California Press, 1991
  • Jack S. Blocker, David M. Fahey, and Ian R. Tyrrell eds. Alcohol and Temperance in Modern History: An International Encyclopedia 2 Vol. (2003)
  • JS Blocker, Jr. "Did prohibition really work? Alcohol prohibition as a public health innovation." Am J Public Health. 2006 Feb;96(2):233-43. Epub 2005 Dec 27.
  • Ernest Cherrington, ed., Standard Encyclopaedia of the Alcohol Problem 6 volumes (1925-1930), comprehensive international coverage to late 1920s
  • Jessie Forsyth Collected Writings of Jessie Forsyth 1847-1937: The Good Templars and Temperance Reform on Three Continents ed by David M. Fahey (1988)
  • Gefou-Madianou. Alcohol, Gender and Culture (European Association of Social Anthropologists) (1992)
  • Dwight B. Heath, ed; International Handbook on Alcohol and Culture Greenwood Press, 1995
  • Patricia Herlihy; The Alcoholic Empire: Vodka & Politics in Late Imperial Russia Oxford University Press, 2002
  • Sulkunen, Irma. History of the Finnish Temperance Movement: Temperance As a Civic Religion (1991)
  • Tyrrell, Ian; Woman's World/Woman's Empire: The Woman's Christian Temperance Union in International Perspective, 1880-1930 U of North Carolina Press, 1991
  • White, Helene R. (ed.), Society, Culture and Drinking Patterns Reexamined (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies, 1991).
  • White, Stephen.Russia Goes Dry: Alcohol, State and Society (1995)

See also

  • Alcoholic beverage
  • Temperance movement
  • Prohibition in the United States
  • bootlegging
  • moonshine
  • cigarette boat
  • rum-running
  • BATF
  • Ethanol
  • Alcohol

External links

  • Prohibition in Canada
  • Prohibition news page - Alcohol and Drugs History Society
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