Ordinance: No single beers, dancing without permit

By William R. Toler

I, myself, am often amused by life’s little quirks.

Photo by Carlos Miller

Photo by Carlos Miller

Earlier this evening, Carlos Miller of Photography is Not a Crime posted a picture to his Facebook wall regarding the sale of beer.

Miller, staying in Hazelwood, Missouri to cover ongoing protests in the area, ventured over to the 7-11 next to his hotel.

While in the store, he took a picture of a sign reading:

DUE TO CHANGE IN HAZELWOOD LAW WE ARE NO LONGER ALLOWED TO SELL 1 SINGLE BEER, YOU MUST PURCHASE AT A MINIMUM 2. Thank you and sorry for any inconvenience.

Some convenience store.

But it’s not their fault. If you want to blame someone, blame the local government.

If you just want one beer to take the edge off, and only have enough for one, you’re out of luck.

While searching online for the town’s ordinance, I stumbled upon a St. Louis ordinance that, among other things, regulates the sell of alcohol.

It’s pretty lengthy, so I’ll just hit a few highlights.

Here’s just one, of the many, regulating the sale of beer.

14.03.100 Minimum quantity in original package-Beer.

No person licensed under the provisions of this chapter or title, his agent, servant or employee, shall sell less than three standard 12 ounce or less bottles, cans or containers of intoxicating malt liquor or nonintoxicating beer, except for kegs and barrels, to any person at retail in the original package where such intoxicating malt liquor or nonintoxicating beer is not to be consumed on the premises where sold, provided that a licensee, his agent, servant or employee shall be permitted to sell a single aluminum can if it has a liquid content of 16 ounces or more. A licensee, his agent, servant or employee may sell at retail a single glass bottle or container of intoxicating malt liquor or nonintoxicating beer if it has a liquid content of 32 ounces or more at room temperature only.

Room temperature only?
That means you’d have to take home the warm beer and put it in the fridge or freezer until it was cold enough to consume without feeling nauseous.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Among all the other dos and don’ts laid out in the ordinance, I found this gem:

14.03.020 Responsibility of licensees.

B. Dancing Restricted-No person licensed under the provisions of this title, his agent, servant or employee shall suffer or permit any dancing on his licensed premises, unless he/she has a valid City of St. Louis Dance Hall license posted on their licensed premises.

So, if you have the government’s permission to sell alcohol, and have a jukebox blasting out someone’s favorite song and they happen to start movin’ to the groove, you are obliged by these words on paper to make them stop.

Unless, of course, you have the government’s permission to allow people to dance on your property.

There was no penalty listed if you get caught with people dancing at your establishment without you having a proper permit, but I’m pretty sure there’s a fine of some sort.

Government: coming together to make things more difficult.

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