Page images

Minnesota: A vote on the question of license or no-license may be taken at the annual meeting of towns and villages, or at the annual election, on the petition of ten legal voters.

Mississippi: The granting or refusing of licenses may be decided by vote on a petition for it being made by a majority of the voters in any city or town, the vote is operative for twelve months. The possession of one-half gallon or more of liquor in any no-license district is prima facie evidence of a violation of law.

Missouri: Local option is provided for in counties and cities upon petition of one-tenth of the voters. The question of license or no-license having been decided, it cannot be submitted again for four years.

Montana: Once in two years a local option vote may be taken upon petition of one-third of the voters of the county, but not in the same month in which general elections are held.

Nebraska: Is without a general local option law, but as licenses are granted by county boards upon a petition of a majority of the resident freeholders of a town or precinct, and as corporate authorities in cities or villages have power to prohibit as well as to license, it is evident that the opportunity for an indirect exercise of local option is at hand.

Nevada: There are no provisions for local option.

New Hampshire: While there is no general local option law, cities and towns may exercise option as intoxicants can only be sold in places where such sale is legalized by the voters under the present license law which was passed in 1903.

New Jersey: Has no local option law.

New Mexico: Has no local option law.

New York: The question of license or no-license may be voted upon at any town meeting upon petition signed by ten per cent. of the voters taking part in the preceding election. Four questions must be submitted:

1. To sell liquor to be drunk on the premises where sold.
2. Selling liquor not to be drunk on the premises where sold.
3. Selling liquor as pharmacists on prescription.

4. Selling liquor by hotel keepers only.

North Carolina: A local option vote may be taken upon peti tion of one-third of the qualified voters of any city or town, but at other times than those of general elections. Three questions must be submitted:


Whether intoxicating liquors shall be manufactured.

2. Whether barrooms shall be licensed.

3. Whether dispensaries shall be established.

If a vote favorable to a dispensary ensues the government board appoints three commissioners to conduct it, one-half of the profits going to the county and the other half to the city or town. (This State has lately adopted prohibition).

North Dakota: Is under constitutional prohibition.

Ohio: The so-called Rose law providing for county local option is cited on other pages.

Oklahoma: Is under constitutional prohibition for twenty-one years, dating from 1907.

Oregon: Local option elections may be held annually upon a petition of not less than ten per cent. of the qualified voters of any county or subdivision of a county, but in any case a petition must contain more than 500 names and must be filed at least thirty days before the election.

Pennsylvania: There is no general law providing for voting on the question of license or no license, but the legislature passes special acts providing for local option by districts. It is also within the powers of the licensing authorities (court of quarter sessions) to withhold all licenses and thus to bring about prohibition.

Rhode Island: As a general local option law.

South Carolina: Since the abolition of the State dispensary system, the question whether liquor is to be sold in any county is to be determined at a special election to be held in November of any year in which a general election occurs, upon the petition of onefourth of the qualified voters of the county. Such a vote may not be taken oftener than once in four years. If a vote favors the sale of liquor, a county dispensary board is established. The profits from dispensary sales go to the county.

South Dakota: The general local option law calls for the submission of the question of license or no-license at any annual municipal election upon petition by twenty-five voters of the municipality. A new county local option law was defeated at the general election in November, 1908.

Tennessee: The legislature enacts special laws prohibiting the sale of all liquors in all places having less than a specified population. The result is that legal sales can only be made in a few localities. There is no general local option law.

(This State has lately adopted prohibition).

Texas: A local option vote may be taken on petition of 200 voters in any county in any precinct or on petition of fifty voters. Stringent measures have been taken to prevent express companies from shipping liquor into districts under no-license, and a tax of $5,000 has been imposed on each express office or place in which liquors are delivered C. O. D. Soliciting orders in districts under no-license is also prohibited.

Utah: The question of licensing or prohibiting the manufacture or sale of intoxicants is decided by municipal authorities who thus may exercise local option. The State has no general law on the subject.

Vermont: The question of granting licenses is submitted annually and if the vote is favorable to license a town meeting may be called to determine whether a license shall be granted for the sale of liquors of all kinds or for the sale of malt liquors only. The State thus has what, in effect, is a local option law, although it is not called by that name.

Virginia: Under the local option law a vote may be taken once in two years on petition of one-fourth of the voters in towns having not less than 1,000 in population.

Washington: There is no general local option law. The question of the regulation of licenses and the sale of liquor is left to cities, towns and counties as they may see fit.

West Virginia: The municipal authorities have power to exercise local option.

Wisconsin: Any town, village or city may vote on the question of license or no-license upon petition made by ten per cent. of the

voters. Licenses may be excluded from residential districts on remonstrance of a majority of the qualified voters.

Wyoming: Is without a local option law.


Arkansas: Judge E. W. Winfield, of the Perryville Circuit Court declared the Lee Law, passed by the Legislature of 1907, constitutional. This law forbids liquor dealers to send circulars into, to advertise or solicit business in prohibition counties. The case has been appealed to the Supreme Court.

Georgia: A few weeks prior to the Arkansas decision cited above, the Court of Appeals of Georgia handed down a decision declaring it unlawful for a liquor dealer to solicit business by letter in Georgia, even if such letter be sent through the mails from a city in another State. The case was brought against the R. M. Rose Company, then located at Chattanooga, charging them with soliciting liquor orders through the mails in Bartow County, Georgia. The decision of the court is so novel and of such importance that its main facts are given in full:

1. Section 428 of the penal code, which prohibits the soliciting or taking orders for the sale of intoxicating liquors in counties where such sales are by law prohibited is a police regulation, necessary for the effective enforcement of the State's prohibitory regulations. The act forbidding soliciting orders for intoxicating liquors is not affected by the extension of the scope of its operations, caused by the passage of the general prohibition act.

2. By the terms of Section 428 of the penal code, for the solicitation or taking orders for the sale of intoxicating liquors is forbidden, whether the solicitation is by the seller personally, or whether the solicitor be only an agent of the seller. To solicit the sale of intoxicating liquors by letter or circular is a crime, if the latter is intended to be delivered, and is in fact delivered as intended, in any county. in the State.

(a) The term "solicit personally" includes any act done by the seller himself which may tend to effect a sale, as contrasted with any like act "by an agent" of the seller, tending to a similar result.

(b) Whether a solicitation is personal or by an agent is not dependent upon the personal presence of the solicitor, but upon whether the means of the solicitation, whether oral or in writing, are used by an agent or by the principal himself. The solicitation of orders by mail for the sale of intoxicating liquors is personal solicitation, if the seller himself in person writes or mails the letter received by the prospective buyer.

(c) The venue of a crime committed by mail is at the point where the matter transmitted by mail is delivered and takes effect. Where a sale of intoxicating liquors is solicited by a communication, written or printed, and mailed in one State, as no crime is committed until the delivery of the letter in the State where such solicitation is forbidden, the courts of the county where the letter is received by the addressee of such letter and its contents ascertained, have jurisdiction of such offense.

3. The State may punish for a crime committed through the mails as a medium, without in any sense impinging the undoubted right of the national government to control the mails. Freedom to use the mails does not extend to their use as a means of committing crime.

4. The general power of the States to control and regulate, within their borders, the business of dealing in or soliciting orders for the purchase of intoxicating liquors is beyond question. DeLamater vs. South Dakota, 205 U. S. 93.

5. Under the provision of the Wilson bill, a statute which (in aid of a police regulation prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors within a State or any portion thereof) prohibits the solicitation of orders is not, for the reason that such statute conflicts with the power of Congress to regulate and control interstate commerce, void as to orders solicited in said State, although the seller and the liquor to be sold may both be in another State; because such regulations in no wise encroaches upon the power of Congress to control interstate commerce. The exercise of such State regulations, so far from being in conflict with the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce, is expressly allowed by law. 26 Stat. 313, c. 718.

6. A corporation may be indicted and punished for any violation of law by its servants and agents in the conduct of its business

« PreviousContinue »