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As if being in the SEC Championship Game didn’t make me a proud enough Missourian already, now we’re the best state for drinking in? It’s a banner week, really. I don’t know if Missouri’s had a week this awesome since we invented the ice cream cone and threw the shittiest Olympics in modern history back in 1904.
Is Missouri the best party state in the country? No, of course not. In fact, I don’t even think Time took that into account when they made this short list. Rather, it seems their only two qualifications were: 1) How readily available is alcohol at any given moment? and 2) How much trouble can you get in for being drunk/doing stuff while drunk? If those are your top two criteria, then Missouri really is the state for you. Thanks to the Anheuser-Busch lobby in Jefferson City, alcohol pretty much does what alcohol wants in the Show Me State.
Here’s Time’s reasoning:
1. Missouri: There’s no place better in the country to get your drink on than the Show-Me State. Missouri has no restrictions against open containers, and the only places it’s illegal to be drunk in public are occupied schools, churches or courthouses. While localities can pass laws banning public intoxication, it’s prohibited for cities and towns to require arrest for such offenses.
For what it’s worth, if that school is a Catholic school, as soon as it becomes “unoccupied,” people pretty much get blasted there on the reg. My high school’s cafeteria walk-in fridge had several cases of Bud in it at any given time. My Catholic grade school had a bar with a keg tap built in. Definitely been hammered in both my grade school and high school thanks to Fish Fries and alumni events.
The other two states Time ranks as truly great drinking states are pretty unsurprising.
2. Nevada: Nevada has a deserved reputation for enlightened attitudes towards the sin industries. Similar to Missouri, there is a ban on local laws that make public intoxication illegal. Alcohol can also be purchased 24 hours a day, 7 days per week by any business that’s willing to keep those hours, and in places like Las Vegas, there are plenty of vendors that fit that description.
3. Wisconsin: Wisconsin’s cultural affinity towards beer and brewing is well known, and it has helped encouraged the state’s lax liquor laws. State law only prohibits sale of liquor between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., and minors under the age of 21 are legally allowed to drink as long as they are accompanied by parents, guardians or spouses of legal drinking age. That’s right, one way to avoid needing that fake ID is marriage!
In Nevada, hookers are legal, so, uh, they’re not huge on vice laws. Wisconsin is home to Miller, and presumably has an alcohol lobby in Madison similar to the one A-B posts up in Jeff City. Plus, it’s better to just let the citizens of Wisconsin black out those harsh winters.
Now for the three worst. Number one should be absolutely no surprise whatsoever.
1. Utah: Many of the restrictive drinking laws around the country derive from a religious skepticism of alcohol, andUtah’s strong religious culture has helped motivate the passage of sundry drinking restrictions. Only beer with less than 3.2% alcohol by weight can be sold in grocery and convenience stores or on tap. Like a strong drink? You’re out of luck in Utah, as cocktails can only contain 1.5 ounces of a primary liquor, while alcohol can’t be purchased in restaurants without food. Oh yeah, keggers are out of the question too, as keg sales are prohibited.
TL;DR? Alcohol is illegal in Utah.
2. Massachusetts: Massachusetts is well-known for its many colleges and universities, but the state’s laws seemed aimed at preventing these students from having very much fun. Out of state drivers licenses aren’t acceptable proofs of age under state law, meaning that out-of-state visitors can get turned away from bars. Bars are also prohibited from allowing drinking games on their premises, and perhaps worst of all, happy hours are banned state wide.
3. Pennsylvania: If you’re not from the Keystone State, stocking up for a party can be a pretty confusing task. All wine and liquor sold in the state are done so by state-owned liquor stores, which don’t sell beer at all. If you want a six-pack of brews, you would think that a “beer distributor” would be the place to go, except that those establishments are only allowed to sell cases. For anything less you have to go to a restaurant with a liquor control board-issued license. Got all that? Me neither. Who needs a drink?
The state owns liquor sales in Pennsylvania? I’d only have one thing to say about that as I was escorted out of the state.