Quoting Alan Horkan (horkana at tcd.ie):
> that would also be true here. it would be inconsitant to do otherwise.
Well, I'ma little fuzzy on the rationale for drinking establishments
being required by law (in California, and I believe across the USA)
to close from 2AM-6AM, but I've always guessed that it had to do with
(1) noise control, and (2) the assumption that fewer drunk, sleepy
drivers would be out and about.
My point is that neither of those justifications would apply to
all-night grocery stores: The stores are already open for non-liquor
sales, so they really wouldn't be any noisier, and any drinking outside
or near the store would be a separate offence (public drunkenness, open
liquor bottle while driving, driving while intoxicated).
So, I was a bit mystified when I encountered the "no, you may not buy a
wine bottle" law at 2:15 AM on my way home from work.
There's another law I failed to mention, relevant to this matter but not
exectly a blue law.
The USA's age of legal majority was lowered from 21 to 18 in 1976, just
as I was going off to college in Princeton, New Jersey. This was a just
and right thing to do, but (depressingly) for the wrong reasons:
Opponents of the Vietnam War had been hammering at the hypocrisy of
sending young men off to fight and die who had no say in the policies
that were killing them. So, instead of ending the damned war, the
country lowered the voting age.
But, in a further display of hypocrisy, a number of the states
(including California) decided that legal majority need not include the
right to drink alcohol -- and kept that minimum age at 21. Being in New
Jersey (where the drinking age was 18) and not much of a drinker, I
wasn't really aware of this, all through college. Adulthood was
At age 22, I returned home to California, absent-mindedly brought a
bottle of wine with me to the grocery-store checkout counter, and the
clerk asked to see my photo ID. "Oh, I'm paying cash", I said. (It
took me a moment to realise what she was talking about.)
During the Ronald Reagan administration, the USA Federal government
decided to bully those states where adulthood actually meant adulthood:
All the states were informed that, unless they raised their drinking
ages to 21, they would lose all Federal highway subsidy money. To its
credit, Louisiana told them to fsck off --and to this day remains the
sole exception to the national drinking age.
 The presidential one, rather than the earlier gubernatorial one
California suffered through. My mother says she regrets having been
consistently registered with the Democratic Party, and thus able to
vote against Reagan only four times instead of eight.
Cheers, "Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?"
Rick Moen -- Steven Wright
rick at linuxmafia.com
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