Strange laws about alcohol in the United States, surprised a Russian immigrant

The author of the channel “Americano | Americano” on “Yandex.Zen” told about American laws concerning alcohol, which surprised him since moving to the United States. Hereinafter in the first person.

Странные законы об алкоголе в США, удивившие русскоязычного иммигранта

Photo: Shutterstock

After moving to the U.S. I’m constantly surprised by local laws, customs and practices, but this is not surprising: the country is completely different, I often got trapped because of ignorance of local laws or customs. Perhaps this article will help future travelers, or immigrants, or maybe just amuse my compatriots!

By the way, I must remind you that alcohol adversely affects your health, I do not recommend its use, and especially abuse, protect yourself and your loved ones!

The first law I remember perfectly: it is associated with absurd situations.

Literally in the first month after moving I went to the store and decided to buy a bottle of the local, American Bourbon. However, in the first store nothing stronger than beer and cocktails were not. Okay — went to the next store — same story. In the third store, I finally decided to ask the seller to further our dialogue:

“But where in fact something stronger?”
“In Russia there, let’s go…”

Okay, it’s just a joke.

In fact, it turned out that strong alcohol (stronger than 8 degrees, if I’m not mistaken) is sold in some stores that sell only alcohol. In ordinary shops do not sell. It may seem that it’s uncomfortable — after a shopping trip to go to another place to buy drinks, but in fact, these stores are often near to large supermarkets, or even located in their buildings. For what it’s made of — did not understand. I think it’s pointless, but I’m no expert, maybe someone better.

But because of ignorance of the law the following is already possible to get a penalty.

Moreover, I consider it even more incomprehensible and useless in principle. In the US you cannot carry open alcohol in the car. For violation — a fine. So, if you have driven in the car of a friend who decided to drink a bottle of beer — will have to wait until he drained or remove the bottle in the trunk. I honestly don’t understand the meaning of this law, to which it is directed, what are the benefits? It is not clear.

Further pretty well — known law-the sale of alcohol to persons over the age of 21.

I actually don’t mind this correctly — do not allow children to buy alcohol. But specifically in the United States to study and pass on the right you with 16, to undergo military training with 17, and 20 to go on military operations. Now all the place submitted picture: a young guy goes home with the thought that soon sent to Iraq (for example), but can’t even call in on the way to the store and buy a bottle of beer in my opinion sounds absurd.

There is another strange law, but on his account I’m not sure.

Legend has it that in the US when buying alcohol you have to ask documents, no matter how old you are, even if the hair is already gone, and the face covers gray beard. For example, I constantly ask for documents: it is true, I am young, in addition to constantly clean-shaven, which makes me visually even younger. But again, I have often seen documents asking for very adult people. With full confidence I can not say, but all the makings for the fact that it’s true all the same. A very strange law.

Following the law — the time to which you can sell alcohol.

In most States to sell alcohol until 00:00, i.e. midnight, however, in some States at all until 02:00. In addition, many institutions offer the service of alcohol: they can bring you alcohol at all around the clock! The absolute opposite of Russia.

Soft law, admissible blood alcohol behind the wheel.

This is the maximum rate of alcohol in the blood of the driver is 0.8 ppm, the comparison — in Russia the norm of 0.3 ppm, that is, in the U.S., the rate is almost 3 times more. How much is this in practice?

About a year ago I was talking to a taxi driver, asked about the local “special” laws, alcohol was one of them. According to him, you can drink 1-2 bottle of beer and after 10 minutes to take the test. The test results are normal. Or a couple of glasses of wine. Agree, in comparison with the Russian laws is quite soft.

And another law — drinking in public places.

I do not remember, how in Russia, but in USA again, quite softly. All alcohol in public places is prohibited, however, if you buy a special opaque package — you can forget about the ban and drink anything and anywhere, even in a city Park, even on the Playground. From what I hear, the police can’t even check what was in your package, as long as you behave appropriately and not rowdy (in this case, of course, you will have questions).

On the one hand, in the US a lot of strict laws, but rather soft laws, but they all relate to the same industry. This is what I said — “from one extreme to another”. So, between two fires, we live in the USA!

The original column published in the blog “American | Americano” on “Yandex.Zen”

ForumDaily is not responsible for the content of blogs and may not share the author’s point of view. If you want to become an author column, send your material to

Our people

Russian in the United States

personal опытFacebookVkontakte