Blue Laws and Red Dots

South Carolina

For travelers passing through South Carolina, you may notice a peculiar looking red dot on a building. This is the visual for identifying a liquor store. As you pass through the rural communities, where pieces of the past seem to hang around longer than areas of rapid growth, take notice.

According to the Orlando Sentinel:
“James Lynn’s liquor store is a small building with a brick facade off to one side of Highway 19. There are no signs on the building, no lettering on the window, nothing identifying it as a liquor store.
Except for the big red dot. The dot, as required by law, is exactly 36 inches in diameter.IMG_5429

At least since 1945, when the state created its Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, or “ABC,” the red dot has been sort of an insider’s code, a tacit acknowledgment by South Carolina government that you can sell booze here – but you can’t be blatant about it.

“I guess the state figures people are going to drink, you know they’re going to drink, but we’re not to going to encourage it,” said Lynn, 67, who has owned his liquor store for 28 years.”

The Red Dots exactly 36 inches in diameter, were allowed under the strict advertising laws for the sale of liquor.IMG_6045

For 100 years liquor stores were not allowed to sell on Election Day, thought to control voter fraud. That ban was lifted in 2014 but Christmas Day sales are still not allowed.
Sunday sales are decided by individual municipalities, so if you get an itch for a twitch, and you cannot get liquor, most likely beer and wine are available for purchase.

Hardeeville South Carolina


Enjoy life and be happy


Comments are closed.