Profile America: States of Intoxication

Tuesday, January 2nd. When Prohibition ended in 1933, the sale of alcoholic beverages resumed in America, but was subject to a patchwork of differing regulations. Local options mean that some counties remain dry. Some states regulate the alcoholic content of beer sold at supermarkets and gas stations. In a few states, beer, wine and liquor may be sold practically anywhere. And in 17 states, liquor wholesale supplies are controlled, and the majority of sales is through government or contracted outlets. These are usually called ABC stores, for alcoholic beverage control. The first ABC liquor stores opened in Pennsylvania on this date in 1934. Today, there are nearly 34,000 beer, wine and liquor stores nationwide — ABC stores included.

The $43 billion a year business employs around 162,000 people. Profile America is in its 21st year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

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