Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kentucky town legalizes alcohol

Kentucky won't pass bills to rein in the cost of insurance, yet it's still illegal for adults of any age to buy alcohol in almost half of Kentucky's counties. (Brings a whole new meaning to "regulation for thee, not for me.")

In Kentucky (unlike Mississippi), residents of dry counties are allowed to buy alcohol in wet counties to be taken home for personal consumption. Maybe this is why there hasn't been as much interest in making dry counties wet as one would expect. After Prohibition, Kentucky counties were dry by default unless voters legalized alcohol - and that requires getting the measure on the ballot.

Dry counties certainly do not reduce highway crashes. A 2003 study shows a higher rate of traffic mishaps in dry counties, as residents drive further to drink in bars.

Cities in dry counties are allowed to become wet, and now this has occurred in Paintsville in eastern Kentucky, thanks to a voter referendum.

But the forces of prohibition still loom large elsewhere. Just a few years ago, Grant County in northern Kentucky voted by about a 2-to-1 margin to remain dry.


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