Why is alcohol illegal in villages in alaska?

Some 30+ years ago, Alaska's legislature chose to allow local governments to determine the legality of alcohol usage in their area, calling it a local option.

When it was put to a vote, 68% of Alaska's rural villages chose to become dry; so it was decided by a majority vote.

Most urban areas in Alaska are either damp (only permitting limited import of alcohol for personal use), or wet (communities where alcohol may be purchased in liquor stores, or grocery stores, for beer and wine).

There are more than 130 dry communities; there are a few larger rural communities (hub communities) that are damp; and the larger towns like Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau which are wet.

Bootlegging quickly became a very lucrative criminal activity in the damp and dry areas. A bottle of liquor that can sell for $10 in a wet town might cost more than $50 in a damp community, and sell for over $150 in towns that are dry.

On October 17, 2012 The Delta Discovery reported that Alaska State Troopers intercepted a package being sent from California to the village of Chefornak, a local option town, containing four 1.75 liter bottles of alcohol.

Updated on Friday, October 19 2012 at 01:59AM EDT