Prohibition officially ends in Mississippi

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 11, 2020

The state of Mississippi will officially end prohibition in January. The change takes place nearly 90 years after prohibition was officially repealed in the U.S.

House Bill 1087, signed by Gov. Tate Reeves on July 2, will legalize the possession of alcohol in every Mississippi county. The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

There are currently 29 dry counties in Mississippi, including Pearl River County.

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Pearl River County is a dry county with some exceptions. Beer and light wine can be sold by businesses within the city limits of Picayune and Poplarville for home consumption, and alcoholic beverages, including liquor, can be sold within Picayune city limits only for consumption within restaurants.

Residents of Pearl River County can currently face legal consequences for possessing alcohol in the county outside of Picayune and Poplarville city limits said District III Supervisor Hudson Holiday.

Holiday said after Jan. 1, this will no longer be the case.

Despite this, Pearl River County will officially maintain its dry status unless a referendum is added to a ballot and residents vote in favor of Pearl River County becoming wet, said Mississippi House District 108 Representative Stacey Hobgood-Wilkes.

“Pearl River County will remain dry,” Wilkes said. “You still can’t purchase it here.”

Wilkes said that while possession of alcohol will be legal in all Mississippi counties, the sale of alcohol will not automatically be made legal by the new law.

Wilkes said there was a bill proposed that would have made all Mississippi counties wet by default, allowing counties to opt out if they wanted to, but the bill failed.

Wilkes, Senator Angela Hill and Mississippi House District 106 Representative Jansen Owen each voted in favor of the bill ending prohibition in the state.