The Volstead Act was rendered inoperative by the passage of the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition.
Facts about Volstead Act
The law was enacted by Congress to enforce and clarify the 18th Amendment on Prohibition. The 18th Amendment only contained 111 words whereas the Volstead Act contained 1600 words..
The passage of the bill initiated the Prohibition Era which lasted in the United States from 1920 to 1933. It was passed on October 18, 1919 and went into effect January 29, 1920.
The purpose of the law was to prohibit intoxicating beverages, regulate the sale, manufacture, or transport of intoxicating liquor.
The purpose was also to provide exceptions to the Eighteenth Amendment for the use of alcohol in lawful industries and practices such as religious, scientific and medicinal purposes
No one could manufacture, sell, purchase, transport, or prescribe any liquor without first obtaining a Government permit from the commissioner.
Anti-Saloon League attorney Wayne Wheeler drafted both the 18th amendment on Prohibition and the Volstead Act .
The bill defined "intoxicating liquors" as any beverage over 0.5% alcohol.
The law provided penalties for abuse of the law that included fines of up to $2000 and prison sentences of not less than one month and not more than 5 years..
It made it clear that it was unlawful to advertise, buy or sell formulas or recipes or aids and machines intended for use in the unlawful manufacture of intoxicating liquor
Any premises where intoxicating liquor was manufactured, sold, kept, or bartered in violation of the law would be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction would be fined not more than $1,000 and/or be imprisoned for not more than one year
Drinking liquor was never illegal. People were allowed to drink intoxicating liquor in their own home or in the home of a friend when they were a bona fide guest.
People were not allowed to carry a hip flask or give or receive a bottle of liquor as a gift.
Intoxicating liquor could be obtained via a medical prescription of a doctor
Opponents: The bill was vetoed by President Woodrow Wilson on both constitutional and ethical grounds but overridden by Congress.
Opponents: Many American also opposed the law, including strong opposition from the labor Unions.
Loopholes: Despite the length of the bill there were many loopholes in the law:
Repeal: The reason for the repeal of the law was because Prohibition simply did not work.
Repeal: The Volstead Act was rendered inoperative by the passing of the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition.
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