Welcome to Mississippi, law breaker

During our week long stay half way up the Natchez Trace Parkway I ran out of beer (I know!!!!), so when we ran into town I checked in at the local grocers to pick up a few bottles. When I could not find any in the store, I popped in to ask a checker… “Excuse me, do you have any beer?” This polite questions halted all three other checkers in the store, as well as the dozen or so customers. Discussions ceased mid sentence, and all eyes turned to me, wide and shocked by simple question. The checker slowly looked up at me and through those chubby cheeks exclaimed in the most fearful voice I have ever heard, “This is a dry county” and pointed accusations of sin and satanic worship at me though her eyes. It was as if I just asked where the local pedophile-convention was while wearing daisy-dukes and a tube-top. I raised me hands, and slowly backed out the door. The only comfort I had was the S&W on my hip could protect me from the fanatics if the S hit the F.

It was then that I truely realized where I was; Mississippi. In Mississippi liquor laws are written up at the city and county level. Every few miles you drive a whole new patchwork of laws are on effect, none of which are published roadside of course. One city/county may not allow the sale of any liquor including beer or wine. Another may only allow beer. Another may only allow hard alcohol but not beer. Some allow drinking while behind the wheel of a car, others allow passengers but not the driver. The more Kerri read up on it the more she came upon extreme stories of people being fined or arrested for simply having a 6-pack in the fridge, or transporting a bottle home after legally purchasing it in the neighboring county. Fear began to creep into her veins, it was palpable. (bucket-list #98504 completed; to use the word ‘palpable’ in a blog post)

The most important law we found out was the Mississippi state law that forbids anyone from importing into the state more than 1 gallon of liquor. When I heard her say those words I laughed out loud and announced, “you are soooooooo breaking the law!” We are hauling dozens of bottles of liquor at any given time, in the trailer, spread across many different types of bourbons, vodkas, rums, and just about anything else you can think of for Kerri to fabricate her cocktails that she loves so much. What we carry with us would easily be considered an “arsenal of alcohol“. We were well past the 1-gallon limit, and we were 200 miles deep into Mississippi, and we were in a dry county.

To rub salt in that wound, we were driving back from dinner in a non-dry county and had a 6-pak that she just purchased for me at the grocery store. Not only were we in violation of the dry-counties law which forbid the transport of beer into the county, she just “straw purchased” that beer for me. I chuckle still at the irony here.

After the discussions settled, and more laughing from my side, Kerri – with wide eyes – stated with the most clarity I have ever heard from her, “We need to leave this state, now“. I chuckled some more with the fact that she now understands how I feel entering states like California, Washington, Oregon, Illinois, etc where gun laws are patched together the same as a poorly made quilt.. and for an otherwise law abiding citizen to be made an instant-criminal simply by crossing an invisible line on the map.

PS – I was asked by Kerri to hold off on posting this until after we left the state so we did not attract any unwanted attention from the authorities. She is just adorable ain’t she?

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4 Responses

  1. Irene says:

    So that’s why i was beginning to wonder about not hearing from you, where are you anyway?
    There are other dry states, better check ahead of entering one

    • Kerri says:

      Luckily, I’m 99% sure that MS is the only state where dry counties have prohibitions against possessing or transporting alchohol. In every other state, “dry” only means no *sales* of alcohol. It never even occurred to me that that there were Area where you couldn’t have it until I randomly started reading up on it!

  2. Vanholio! says:

    Welcome to the Bible Belt! I grew up in Texas, so I know all about the insanity of patchwork liquor laws.

  3. I lived about a third of my life in the South, and some of that was my fault. From my point of view, there’s nothing so great about that region that could compensate for things like dry county ordinances.