Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1999

Center/Program

Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought

Abstract

In November 1998, fourteen neighborhoods in Chicago voted to shut down their liquor stores, bars, and lounges, and four more neighborhoods voted to close down specific taverns. Three additional liquor establishments were voted shut in February 1999. Along with the fourteen other neighborhoods that passed dry votes in 1996 and those that went dry right after Prohibition, to date more than 15% of Chicago has voted itself dry. The closures affect alcohol-related businesses, like liquor stores and bars, but do not restrict drinking in the privacy of one's hoifie. The legal mechanism is an arcane 1933 "vote yourself dry" law, enacted at the time of the repeal of Prohibition, and amended by the state legislature in 1995.'

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