Last call for last call? Stupid Ohio liquor laws

Why do bars stop serving alcohol at 2 am? Why can’t you buy liquor in Ohio at 8am on a Sunday? Why do restaurants have to fence in little patios to serve alcohol outside? Why can’t you buy the new Sam Adams specialty beer in Ohio?

Those wild and crazy guys at Boston Beer Co. have done it again, brewing a beer so strong they label it 48 proof, using terminology usually reserved for spirits. Sam Adams Utopias MMII, which goes on sale this month, is in fact 24% alcohol by volume, making it the strongest commercial beer in the world.

via Beer Break – Sam Adams Brews Strongest Beer Ever.

And last but not least, why can you enlist in the Army and vote, but not buy a beer?

We’ll leave that last one alone, because Mothers Against Drunk Driving can make a pretty good case for why young drivers shouldn’t be drinking- but, then again, no drivers should be drinking, so what’s the difference?

For years, shift workers and restaurant workers have found “illegal after-hours” establishments to go to after work for a drink. With a 24/7/365 economy, why are we still pretending that one size of hours fits all? We live in a world of 24 hour grocery stores- so why not let business do what makes sense for them.

This wouldn’t mean a change for many bars, because their clientele may still be on a conventional schedule, but for large “party palaces” like Masque, Hammerjax or Vex downtown, why not keep the party going all night?

Not being a huge fan of zoning codes that are applied to manage people, the condition of extended hours may just be that there are usage fees charged back to establishments for police calls to the establishment for problems outside or stemming from patrons, with a set limit of infractions causing a curtailing of hours.

Would this change in policy really hurt a majority of Ohioans? Probably not. What it may help is giving people a way to escape more often from the realities that this global economy is throwing our way, and provide additional economic opportunity for bar owners to keep their parties going all – night – long.

And for the record: I don’t drink alcohol at all.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed! If you wish to support this blog and independent journalism in Dayton, consider donating. All of the effort that goes into writing posts and creating videos comes directly out of my pocket, so any amount helps!

Leave a Reply

19 Comments on "Last call for last call? Stupid Ohio liquor laws"

Notify of
Rahn Keucher
Rahn Keucher

Really?  Not at all?  I would have picked you for a one beer a week or the occaisional nice glass of wine kinda guy.  See what I know. . . . .


You and I once drove all the way to Pennsylvania because I wanted some Stoli vodka, which was banned  in Ohio because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
What does that have to do with liquor control?

Robert Vigh
Robert Vigh

Government is about control. This would give more control and choices to people. I am not sure that is a good idea, we need more government as it is.

David Lauri

MADD has a good argument against drinking and driving but not against 18-21 year olds drinking responsibly. 18-21 year old Canadians and Europeans drink legally and much more responsibly than do 18-21 year old Americans, who, let’s not kids ourselves, do drink, just not legally.

Ice Bandit

  The Old Bandito once criticized the Ma’s Against Drunk Driving (as if there is an organization promoting drunk driving), and from the visceral reaction it provoked, one would have thought the article was advocating pedophilia. “How dare you criticize these sainted souls?” seemed to be the typical response. El Bandito the Helios replied by noting that MADD, though its’ activism, should be considered just another lobby, and its’ goals seem to be in cahoots with the evil DWI-Trial Lawyer axis, whose ultimate goal isn’t fewer drunks but more of them to support this expensive and unproductive dog and pony show. Furthermore, nobody bats an eyelash when such organizations such as the K of C and or Boy Scouts come under critique, so what makes MADD above criticism? A local radio personality confided that he made a simple joke about MADD on the air, and the station was deluged by demands for apologies and his head on a pike. The announcer showed massive cajones by refusing to grovel and went public with the bullying. The hombre retained his job, his cajones and his integrity………


DAMM may not be the most worthy of organizations, but it is funny (kind of……)


The bars stay open ’till 4 AM in Louisville, which makes for a late town.  Things dont get started there unitl after 10:30 PM, too late for me.

Stuart K

There’s a practical reason for the 2am restriction. It allows the police force to concentrate their efforts in cracking down on drunk drivers. Gives the cops a window of time to focus on. Want to see for yourself? Drive past  a popular bar (Frickers in Miamisburg comes to mind) around 2am on a Friday night and count the cop cars.
Also, for what it’s worth, last call might actually be good for business. The feeling of exclusivity from a “Last Chance!” offer is an effective marketing technique… A lot of people buy a drink at last call just because they know it’s their last chance, and the number of people that would continue drinking after 2am is probably surprisingly low. An “all night party” sounds great, but most people just get tired.

The law was not put in place for that “practical reason.” They do it bc a bar “must close” (according to the states thought process) at sometime, and they picked this time bc the least amount of people on the road. They don’t want bars open all night bc a.m. traffic could get messy. Some states are 1am, others later. Closing time is kind of a stupid law. And most bars would not, could not draw enough people during latter hours. Tack on another licensing fee for bars from 2:30-5:30. As to the “fence”, well that is pretty obvious. They don’t want you carrying alcohol on the street. I don’t care, but that is the law, and hence a fence. As to the beer – well, other states have a much lower limit that prohibits a lot of beer from being distributed. Laws read something like beer max alchol is 9%, wine 16%, etc… obviously there is hard alcohol so who cares. But being specific to beer, it is my belief the biggest contributors to keeping such laws in tact (beer must be under a certain percent) are the big breweries, ie AB, Miller, Coors. They don’t want “micro” brews to come into some states, and a lot of micro brew, do to the nature of making better beer (specifically ales as opposed to lagers) have higher alcohol content. 20 years ago, 50 years ago,  that was not a big deal, but a beer revolution has been sweeping this nation (thankfully) and the big boy brewers want to keep those laws in line so less micro beers can be distributed in certain states. I have no specifics on state, but I believe a lot of southern states have really low beer maximum alcohol contents so a lot of micros are disqualified from being distributed in those states. They probably could sell them as “spirits” but again another lobbying foe and other taxes and restrictions apply with that….. The Sunday thing is all in the Protestant camp – they lobby too. The state wants their money, that is why there are laws.… Read more »

…but a beer revolution has been sweeping this nation (thankfully)
Everywhere but Dayton, it seems.  No microbrews in the Dayton metro area.  Every one that tried has failed.  Another indication of the Dayton Region’s inherent suckyness.


Beer is expensive to make…. and I am talking about buying from all over the United States. Hey Jeff, why don’t you open a microbrewery? You want all the romantic/artisan/craft businesses in Dayton yet you don’t do it. Or do you?


This is so funny for me to read as the scary part is Ohio has actually improved (for Ohio) in the past 30 years.  I remember as a kid going with my Dad to a State-Run-Only Liquor store (pretty much the only kind there were for booze).  Just one of those days where Dad and I were off doing errands.  There were  metal turn-style wheels at the entrance (um – Dad do have to pay a fare to get in?).  The lady behind the counter grabbed me by the collar when I was going thru the turnstyle with my DAD – “Stand over here – no one under 21”.  I was 6!  My father walked right around and out the door without a purchase.  Government worker – government attitude!  Like my Dad was gonna leave me at the counter alone! 

I have lived in 2 of the most easy-to-obtain markets for booze, D.C. and Chicago.  Walk into a Walgreens (any Walgreens or Krogers for that matter) buy a bottle!  This so weirded me out the first time I saw it- like is this legal?  Funny in those less-restrictive markets booze is a thousand fold less than here but I guarantee you that those markets make up in volume.

I can’t wait to see what goofiness the State comes up with for the casinos!  Then you will see some serious cracks in both the liquor control laws as well as the smoking-ban.

Robert Vigh
Robert Vigh

Chappy’s in west Carrollton has a really nice beer selection (I am a member of the beer club!). Them and Southpark are probably the best 2 beer pub’s about……………if you have tastebuds anyway.

Less government is all I have to say on this matter.


The Ohio Liquor Commission sounds like a great example of  a waster of TAXPAYER funds.  What do they regulate?  It sounds like they must of been drunk when they impose these stupid laws.  WHich I hate to admit, Ohio is full of them.   This is why no one wants to do business here and several industries want to pull out.  WAKE UP OHIO!! Your taxes are too high because of all these corrupt politicians you keep electing to office are mis managing your funds and coming up with stupid laws to pretend they are looking out for your interests.  In fact they are keeping the attorney’s busy, thus your taxes will continue to go up and your effectiveness of your government will diminsh.
At least UTAH was smart enough to allow several counties to allow liquor sales on Sunday and remove the Membership clubs.  At least the LDS was smart enough to know what drives the economy!!
The religious hypocrites who tried to oulaw gaming and place more laws on liquor are destroying the economy of this state.  This way they can be in control  so you will look the other way when they try to embezzle money from their parishoners.

Vera Miller
Vera Miller

Friends of mine went to a bar last Saturday.  Since it was the Daylight Savings time change, the bar closed at 1AM.  They did not tell customers that they were closing early and served drinks until 12:55 and then picked up all the drinks at 1.  Not cool!  No last call.  The customers should have been told of the closing time when they walked in the door.


Vera, there is a free market solution to this problem. Stop patronizing that bar.


the guy who said ohio banned stoli sales didn’t read the who story,copy and pasted,Recently Ohio decided to make a state law prohibiting STOLI transactions. STOLI stands for Stranger Originated Life Insurance. STOLI transactions are still happening in other states and Ohio wants to put a stop to them before they start.
Ohio is prohibiting STOLI transactions because “they feared that STOLI transactions becoming prominent in other states would also become a problem in Ohio. STOLI schemes are a manipulation of the growing life insurance settlement industry, estimated at $12 billion to $15 billion a year”, according to a recent article at guess the trip to penn was for nothing :))


Alcohol sales should be banned in Dayton Weatherby small grocery stores or in bars and resturants