Liquor laws in Mississippi have a long-standing tradition of being stricter than other parts of the United States. In 2021, this changed as lawmakers already loosened some restrictions and could be updating more laws in the months to come.
Recent Mississippi Liquor Law Updates & Potential Changes
Although history tells of Prohibition ending in 1933 with the 21st amendment, this was not the case in Mississippi. Statewide prohibition was in place until 1966, and in 2020, Mississippi was still home to several dry counties. On January 1, 2021, this changed as a new law went into effect that allowed the possession of alcohol in every county in the state.
Although possession of alcohol is now legal everywhere in the state for those over 21, alcohol sales in Mississippi are still limited in some areas. It is up to the individual counties to vote to make alcohol sales legal in these counties.
Along with this new update, other changes could be ahead for Mississippi alcohol laws in 2021. State officials are currently in the midst of discussing changes to alcohol sales in Mississippi. There is currently talk surrounding updating the Alcoholic Beverage Control office including software, merchandising, and pick lines. The other option is to privatize liquor sales in Mississippi. For now, the pros and cons of each are still being weighed, but changes to Mississippi alcohol laws surrounding distribution could begin as early as this year.
Alcohol Laws & Alcohol Abuse
Beside the potential economic impact of changing these Mississippi alcohol laws, there could be some other unexpected effects. Part of the reason some dry countries have such strict alcohol laws in place is in an attempt to limit the number of alcohol-related concerns and issues for residents like drunk driving, underage drinking, and alcoholism, but is this approach effective?
In some cases, the answer seems to be yes. There is evidence to suggest that states with stricter alcohol laws regarding drinking and driving in particular also had fewer car crash fatalities for teenagers and young children.1 Other studies suggest that stricter alcohol laws like controlled monopolies on alcohol sales, limited hours for alcohol sales, and reduced outlet numbers are associated with reduced alcohol use and alcohol-related problems.2
According to these reports, as alcohol laws in Mississippi and other states are loosened, it could potentially lead to secondary problems. Along with there being a possibility of more alcohol-related injuries or drunk driving incidents, there could also be a greater need for alcoholism treatment in Mississippi.
At Vertava Health Mississippi, we are here to help if you need it. Regardless of where you are or what laws are in place, alcohol misuse and abuse are common. If you or someone you love is struggling with drinking, get help. Our drug rehab in Mississippi offers several different types of programs to help people with varying care needs. Reach out to us today to get started.