alcohol The Weirdest Drinking Laws from Around the World  

Mike Rothschild
2k votes 436 voters 48.3k views 28 items

Weird laws about drinking are a worldwide phenomenon: international alcohol laws are sometimes pretty out there and America has some truly strange regulations on the books as well. Alcohol laws from around the world can govern anything from how much wine a married woman can drink (one glass only in La Paz, Bolivia!) to penalties for DUI, and importing wine from province to province. Many are arcane, and others barely enforced, but if you're going out of the country, you'll want to do a quick check for their drinking laws.

In the US, you might want to do the same thing. Planning on a happy hour out of state? Better check if it's legal. Smitten with your bartender in Nebraska? Hanky panky with them is out of the question. Want to buy pretty much any alcohol in Pennsylvania? You'd better have a copy of the civil code with you, because it's insanely complex.

Some of these weird drinking laws and funny laws about alcohol are just plain silly, others are well-intentioned, and some are just relics of a bygone era.
1 117 VOTES

Utah Restaurants Pour Drinks Behind a Curtain

Utah Restaurants Pour Drinks B... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Weirdest Drinking Laws from Around the World
Photo: via Twitter
Mormon-dominated Utah has long had complicated liquor laws. In fact, until 2009, bars had to operate as private clubs that charged membership fees. Those laws were repealed, but restaurants now have to pour drinks behind an opaque pane of glass, so as to not tempt teetotalers and children. These so-called "Zion curtains" can be seen in any restaurant opened recently.
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2 107 VOTES

You Can't Ride a Cow in Scotland If You're Drunk

You Can't Ride a Cow in Sc... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Weirdest Drinking Laws from Around the World
Photo: via Wikimedia
Thanks to the arcane minutiae of the Licensing Act of 1872, it's illegal to ride atop a cow whilst intoxicated in Scotland. It's also illegal to operate a horse or steam engine. In 2009, a drunk man was charged under the Act with being intoxicated while operating a mobility scooter.
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3 90 VOTES

Wearing Underwear Under That Kilt? Two Beers!

Wearing Underwear Under That K... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Weirdest Drinking Laws from Around the World
Photo: via Imgur
A law supposedly on the books in Scotland says that any Scottish gentleman found to be wearing underwear under his kilt will be fined two beers. It's likely that this law doesn't actually exist, and if it does, it's never been enforced.
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4 96 VOTES

In England, It's Illegal to Be Drunk in a Pub

In England, It's Illegal t... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Weirdest Drinking Laws from Around the World
Photo: via Twitter
Despite England having a thriving drinking culture, it's technically against the law to be intoxicated in a pub. The law was put in place by the 1872 Licensing Act, and is still on the books, though it's not enforced.
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