Athens, Alabama May Ban Alcohol Sales
Voters in Athens, Alabama today have a chance to vote on a referendum which would make the city “dry” or, as AP’s Jay Reeves puts it, “return this northern Alabama city to the days of Prohibition.”
Really, though, this is nothing particularly radical. As readers discover a few paragraphs in, Athens only went “wet” four years ago and “Twenty-six of Alabama’s 67 counties, including Limestome, where Athens is located, don’t allow alcohol sales.” While the three Alabama counties where I’ve lived were all wet [And they sold alcohol too! -ed.], most do not allow alcohol sales on Sundays, as I was recently reminded when on a visit and told the two bottles of wine we’d intended to purchase weren’t for sale (luckily, we were traveling to a city that allowed Sunday sales).
Now, I find the whole notion of Blue Laws silly for a variety of reasons. Further, they seem rather obviously to be religiously motivated and thus suspect under the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment. But a general ban on alcohol sales is perfectly Constitutional and well within the spirit (no pun intended) of federalism and local control.
See Clayton Cramer for more thoughts on this matter.