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American Liquor Laws.

Great interest is being manifested m the United States m the latest development of the liquor laws as m operation at Boston, which is that of, as the " Boston Herald" expresses it, "forbidding the dispensing of liquor m single doses over those convenient pieces of furniture which Webster, Worcester, Supreme Courts, and authorities on English words and their uses have agreed to call bars." As to the working of the system the "Herald" writes :—" One of the chief objections to it was that its enforcement wputd entail the use of chairs and tables i^ saloons, and that thereby intoxication wdlild be increased, since the inclination of patrons would be to drink more sitting than standing. However, it became necessary to enforce the ' no-bar' clause, and, after two weeks' trial of the 'sitting-down' method of imbibing stimulants, the police records show that m the two weeks succeeding May 20, when the new: order of things actually went into.effect, there were fewer arrests for drunkenness than m the fortnight preceding that date, v and the testimony of the chiefs of the various divisions is to the effect thatithere has been a trifle less public intoxication visible m the precincts than hitherto. One officer, however, says that there is scarcely a perceptible difference m the number of tipsy people brought to the station now and prior to the 'inauguration of the new era. He thinks that the drinks are served with about the same amount of celerity at the tables as they were at the bars, arid there seems to be no more disposition to hang around the groggeries than there was before. The fellows who are disposed to over-drink while leaning against the bar do the same thing sitting clown. In most places free lunches, more or less elaborate, are placed on the tables, and the drinkers take enough nibbles from these usually to counteract m a degree th« head-reeling effects, and to smother the fumes that would otherwise go to the brain. The lunches are not, at a rule, very appetising, but they are wholesome, and, although thirst-makings not otherwise harmful. Tha number of arrests for drunkenness made m the First Division between May 5 and May 20 was 238, and between May 20 and. June 3 229, a difference of nine m favor of the existing state of affairs. 'We certainly have had fewer arrests for drunkenness since people have been forced to sit down to''their liquor, said Captain .Irish, of the busy Fourth Precinct. ' Judging >, from that, I should say that less rum was drunk, and then, too, the liquor sellers say that there is not so touch sold "as. formerly.' In reply to the question, "This lunch business is costing the dealers quite Jin amount of money collectively, isn't it ?' the officer replied, 'It must; but. then they have cut down the size of the beer glasses. Where they formerly gave the ' double-deck schooners' '.hey now give small glasses. This saving m solid beer pays for the lunch. Speaking of the cost of these free lunches, I know of one place on this division where they give a spoonful of beans, two small thin slices of bread, and one slice of bologna, the size of a half dollar, with each drink. , They tell me that the demand for cheese is so great now that its price has gone up. They tell me also that the cracker bakers are working overtime to supply the increased demand for crackers, but I cannot vouch for the truth of it.' In Capt. Hemmen way's division, the Second, the liquor dealers arejmostly proprietors of large hotels or of early closing establishments, arid their customers are not often of the class who indulge to such an excess that the ' blue coats' havie to take them m tow. He does not have therefore much opportunity to judge of the effect of the new translation of the law from his record of arrests. The latter shows, however, a marked decrease m the figures m the intoxication column. For that offence there were corraled during the fortnight preceding the promulgation of the ' no-bar ' order 34, and during the succeeding two weeks only 18. The captain gains the impression from what he has seen of'the workings of the chaw and table method that the dealers are beginning to prefer it to the old style."

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Bibliographic details

American Liquor Laws., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2506, 1 September 1890

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American Liquor Laws. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2506, 1 September 1890