18TH Amendment: A product of the temperance movement, supporting the idea that prohibiting the production, transport, and sale of liquor wine, and beer would also end poverty and other social problems.
Contrary to popular belief, Drinking alcohol wasn't illegal, if you had a private supply. Most people did not have access to alcohol.
Alcohol consumption in the United States did go down from 1920-1933, BUT enforcement proved to be incredibly difficult.
Maryland was the only state to refuse to enforce the 18th Amendment. On January 9, 1921, Governor Albert Ritchie said, “It is not my purpose in this connection today to complain of an unwarranted invasion by the Federal Government of the liberties of the Maryland People..."
Organized crime filled the void, and bootlegging and private clubs/hidden bars became the vogue. "Shh...speak 'easy' - is the password," patrons said.
Repealing the 18th Amendment was part of his 1932 platform.
Alcohol and Drinking History in the United States of America: A Chronology (Alcohol Problems and Solutions)
'Dry Towns' in the USA (Alcohol.org - an American Addiction Centers Resource)
"Home-made wines made of dandelions": Prohibition in Maryland (Maryland Historical Society)
Maryland’s Beer Laws: Overview & Historical Perspective presentation (Maryland Office of the Comptroller)
The Night Prohibition Ended (history.com)
Prohibition in Maryland Caused Serious Problems (Alcohol Problems and Solutions)
With the passage of the 21st Amendment came the right for states to regulate alcohol distribution as they saw fit. The three-tier system was created to ensure checks and balances, and ultimately to keep consumers safe. Interestingly, a 2012 survey by the Center for Alcohol Policy indicated that states still support the system.
Maryland laws prohibit anyone from drinking under the influence of alcohol when the blood concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. It is illegal for anyone under 21 to drive with any alcohol in their systems. Their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) must be 0.00 percent.
Prior to the passage of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act in 1984, the legal drinking age varied from state-to-state. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after all states adopted an age 21 MLDA, drinking during the previous month among people aged 18-20 declined by 59 percent. States also saw a 16 percent decline in motor vehicle crashes.
Maryland laws say that those 18 years or older can be servers and bartenders in establishments that sell beer or wine. BUT, in the case of spirits, individuals must be 21.
The Maryland General Assembly approved more than 60 new alcoholic beverage laws created opportunities in Maryland. "Savvy players in the alcoholic beverage industrial complex will find business opportunities to lead and profit in matters of beer, wine and spirits, including opportunities advantaged by these newly enacted laws" (Maryland Alcoholic Beverage Law).
Our state is made up of License (private owners sell alcohol at retail and wholesale levels) and Control (State or jurisdictions take ownership of the product at some point in the business cycle) systems. Most Maryland communities are Licensed Jurisdictions with the exception of Montgomery, Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties.
A Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) of 21 saves loves and protects health (Alcohol and Public Health - Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
Maryland Alcohol Laws: Protect Yourself by Knowing Them (Alcohol Problems and Solutions)
More than 60 New Alcoholic Beverage Laws Create Opportunity in Maryland (Maryland Alcoholic Beverage Law - Administrative Law and Regulatory Matters in the Alcoholic Drink Industry)
The Role of Alcohol Beverage Control Agencies in the Enforcement and Adjudication of Alcohol Laws (National Liquor Law Enforcement Association, NHTSA)
The Three-Tier System: A Modern View (National Alcohol Beverage Control Association)
Underage Drinking - Maryland (Alcohol Policy Information System, NIAAA)