Spirit of the Law in Oklahoma City

Reason’s Jacob Sullum reports that Oklahoma City police arrested Colin Grizzle, manager of the bar “The Pump,” for the act of mixing ingredients such as bacon and jalapeños into distilled spirits.

The law Grizzle broke states that anyone with a mixed beverage license cannot refill a container that previously contained an alcoholic beverage with any substance. Doing so risks a penalty of up to six months in jail.

Sullum cites a local defense attorney who that says that the statute was meant to deter diluting the alcohol with water, not infusing the beverage with a different flavor, which is what Grizzle was doing.

Furthermore, The Pump’s owner says he has lost some of his brunch business to competitors who continue to serve drinks with infused vodka, something customers continue to seek.

Regardless of the intent behind the Oklahoma law in question, this story highlights a patently ridiculous enforcement of the law. In this instance, enforcement of the law  penalizes an activity that harms no one and further violates the spirit of justice by selectively targeting individual businesses for that behavior.

More Blog Posts

04-05-2018 08:04pm

Second Chances for Prisoners Help All of Us

Read more

03-20-2018 09:03am

Iraq at 15

According to a new poll conducted by the Charles Koch Institute and Real Clear, Americans do not think that the Iraq War has made the United States safer, nor do they think the Middle East is more stable.

Read more

02-13-2018 09:02am

Julie Warren Profile

After working at the U.S. Department of Justice, and as a criminal appellate lawyer for the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office, Julie Warren is devoted to improving the system for everyone—from parolees to police.

Read more

Sign up for updates

Sign up to receive weekly updates in news and events.