Where is it legal now??

Little or nothing to do with distillation.

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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby Zippo » Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:19 pm

From talking to a local law enforcement friend of mine, In FL Its never been Illegal to own a still, As long as its for personal use only. And he said that after 15 years of law enforcement in FL he has never once even heard of any onw getting busted for having a still. But I guess we could get away with saying that we use it to distill water in case of Hurricanes. :mrgreen:
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby Husker » Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:45 am

Zippo wrote:From talking to a local law enforcement friend of mine, In FL Its never been Illegal to own a still, As long as its for personal use only.


I am not not up on the laws of FL, but I bet there is part of that statement which is simply untrue. Keep in mind, that police are not the final source of information about laws, it is the courts that are.

I believe ownership of a still in the US is legal. However, running any wash through it to produce booze, is illegal without having proper TTB licensing.

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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby HookLine » Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:48 am

I will bet that federal law trumps state law on this issue.
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby gsmedia » Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:28 pm

In Australia the distillation of alcohol is illegal, however, A friend of a friend of mine was talking with a state prosecutor or similar, and his exact words were:
"We don't care what the f#*k you put in your still, just don't sell it and don't blow yourself up."
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby HookLine » Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:52 pm

I will bet that we hobby distillers are literally at the bottom of the list of law enforcement's priorities in Australia.
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby blanikdog » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:28 pm

Agreed Hook. Certainly in a small town anyway.

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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby Husker » Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:50 am

It may be on the 'bottom of the list' in most places. However, if you get a neighbor complain to authorities about it (or an X-wife, X-gf, etc), then no matter how much they want not to waste their time looking you up, they certainly will. As long as you are safe, and do not sell, and do not burn down your house/shed, it probably is the complaining neighbor that is the most to fear in this hobby (in most countries at least).

NO one should kid themselves about it. In most places it IS illegal to do. If someone WANTS to, they can pursue you with charges. It is best to keep what you are doing quiet, especially in mixed company, or when others in public can overhear what is being said.

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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby HookLine » Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:57 am

No argument there, Husker. Certainly wasn't suggesting people should be careless and blatant about their hobby. Just saying that the police are not interested unless they are forced to be, they gotta gazillion much more important things they have to do.
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby snuffy » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:09 am

I'd strongly advise ignoring any legal advice or interpretation of the law on the Colonel's web sit. http://www.coppermoonshinestills.com/id53.html

This sort of nonsense is pure grief for anybody that tries it. Likewise, I'm now disregarding what's he's saying about the state laws. He's basically saying he's ignorant of the situation and he's dealing in double-talk.

Dunno what the facts are for the various states, but roll-your-own-lawyering is a game for the reckless. I'm a layman, not a lawyer, but I do know that laws mean what the courts have interpreted them to mean. Reading the legislation without checking on the case law is a losing proposition.

This is particularly true of Constitutional law like the Commerce Clause. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commerce_clause

The long term solution is reforming the federal law. It could be done with a little organizing, some savvy and a lot of time.
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby Hillbilly Rebel » Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:41 am

gsmedia wrote:

"We don't care what the f#*k you put in your still, just don't sell it and don't blow yourself up."

Sounds like a great by line for a T shirt, but a bad philosophy by which to live. Unfortunately, such statements are personal statements and are not official statements. To be honest, much of enforcement comes down to how bad do they want to get you. Is there a recent event that brings personal distilling into the public limelight? Such as when bad liquor poisoned people in Atlanta; or when Popcorn's stills caught on fire; or maybe a fatal accident where someone was intoxicated and moonshine was found or at least blamed. Both law enforcement and prosecutors tend to respond to publicity, either negative, (what laws they are not enforcing), or positive, (what law they could be enforcing that will put them into a positive light, such as when running for office or when trying to divert attention from other things). They also tend to focus resources on a particular individual when the individual is perceived as rubbing their illegal activities in law enforcement's face or when their illegal activities are considered an affront to the law enforcement community. Popcorn Sutton's arrest and prosecution was a good example of this. It was his still catching on fire, his state charges and the resultant publicity that got the feds interested in investigating him. I would think that they knew about his activities for years but didn't think it was worth their efforts until all the publicity hit the press.

Unless you are one of the people on this site who are legalling distilling, keep a low profile, don't tell, don't sell.
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby Husker » Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:58 am

HR, thanks for the new sig :)

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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby Hillbilly Rebel » Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:02 pm

Husker,You are welcome and I am honored.

While home distilling is not legal in Michigan, (I think), things may be looking up in the next couple of years. This is not meant to be a political ad or endorsement, but United States Representative Bart Stupak is rumored to be a possible candidate for Michigan Governor in 2010. Stupak is 57, a democrat, former Michigan Trooper and Attorney. Why this would be good news is that Stupak is the representative that introduced House Bill 3249 in 2001, (the 107th Congress, First Session). H.R. 3249 was the bill that attempted to amend the U.S. Internal Revenue Code to make home distilling legal in the United States the same as wine and beer. It failed but if Stupak thought it was good enough idea to put his name on it in Congress, as a Governor may be he would push it on the state level with better results. If any of the readers are from Michigan, maybe they can give more insight?
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby absinthe » Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:49 pm

we do have it pretty easy in AUS not as easy as in NZ lol but you can still go down to your local brew shop and by a still that is of "illegal" 25 litre capacity (it is illegal to OWN a still in AUS with a boiler with a capacity of more than 5 ltrs and it is also illegal to run said still for anything other than essential oils and/or water) along side yeasts distilling books and flavouring essences. but i suppose the same could be said for apparatus used to smoke illegal substances..
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby gsmedia » Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:40 pm

Hillbilly Rebel wrote:Sounds like a great by line for a T shirt


You think there's a market for these shirts?

I agree with your point - Unless your name's Jim Beam, probably best not to tell the world about the still in your back yard.
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby MuleKicker » Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:48 am

Has anyone here been caught/prosecuted, or know someone who has for home distillation? My wife is scared about me being caught and wants me to shut my operation down. I have too much invested and am finally getting the hang of this (not to mention love doing it). I need to put her at ease somehow. I know it aint legal but i aint hurtin no one and dont want to give this hobby up. I dont really know what the max penalty for small time use is but i couldnt see more than a fine and a "dont do it again" unless neg attention is drawn to me, i think they just dont care.
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby nedscreekkennels » Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:31 pm

MuleKicker wrote:Has anyone here been caught/prosecuted, or know someone who has for home distillation? My wife is scared about me being caught and wants me to shut my operation down. I have too much invested and am finally getting the hang of this (not to mention love doing it). I need to put her at ease somehow. I know it aint legal but i aint hurtin no one and dont want to give this hobby up. I dont really know what the max penalty for small time use is but i couldnt see more than a fine and a "dont do it again" unless neg attention is drawn to me, i think they just dont care.


sounds like my wife getting her holy roller pantys in a knot
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby Hawke » Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:17 pm

One of the members here got nailed last year. Never did hear the outcome. I do know they confiscated his equipment and hooch.
First offence is usually a fine, taxes on the booze and probation. If they catch you selling or distributing, may be more severe. It does count as a fellony.
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby MuleKicker » Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:27 pm

Im not selling (obviosly) It just dont seem right that a guy cant do this for his own gain. our govmt. is wrong! I need to find a way to put her at ease. any ideas? I love this sport!!!!
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby nedscreekkennels » Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:53 pm

MuleKicker wrote:Im not selling (obviosly) It just dont seem right that a guy cant do this for his own gain. our govmt. is wrong! I need to find a way to put her at ease. any ideas? I love this sport!!!!

trade her in for a more understanding model
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby HookLine » Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:39 pm

nedscreekkennels wrote:
MuleKicker wrote:Im not selling (obviosly) It just dont seem right that a guy cant do this for his own gain. our govmt. is wrong! I need to find a way to put her at ease. any ideas? I love this sport!!!!

trade her in for a more understanding model

No, learn to make her favourite drink so well that she will insist you keep doing it. :wink:

More seriously, in most parts of the world, if you are keeping a low profile, not selling or making large amounts, or involved in any other serious illegal activity, chances are you won't get caught, and if you do it will only be a relatively minor slap on the wrist.
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby MuleKicker » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:34 pm

No, learn to make her favourite drink so well that she will insist you keep doing it. :wink:

That is the best answer Ive heard yet............ Her fav. drink is beer. Dammit. :roll: On the other comment, about gettin caught, my thoughts exactly.
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby HookLine » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:39 pm

MuleKicker wrote:Her fav. drink is beer. Dammit. :roll:

Ah. Well, you are just gonna have to wean her onto your finest spirits. 8)
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby Dnderhead » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:53 pm

do you make your own beer? if not just start, its a reason to have fermenters, pots, grain, almost everything but the still.
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby nedscreekkennels » Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:03 am

My other half don't drink from time to time feel like spikeing her drink
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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby blanikdog » Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:55 pm

nedscreekkennels wrote:My other half don't drink from time to time feel like spikeing her drink



My first mother-in-law was totally against alcohol (in spite of her convict origins - she's from Tasmania :) :) ) but she made her own ginger beer. It was funny to watch her dispose of half a bottle and suddenly become very chirpy. She would never accept that the bubbles were the result of fermentation making alcohol.

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Re: Where is it legal now??

Postby goose eye » Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:13 am

nedscreek you spike your wife drink an you wont last a month before they no. in less than a 6 months
youll no they no. what you dont here is how many folks is caught cause the heavy dope get the press
unless they got dope an weapons to.
you do no you got a county abc board. what you think part of there job is. now these other boys from other states an such mite not have much to worry about but you need to tread litely but figure you a growed man an no what you doin.
me i aint got no problems cause i aint ever made no likker an aint agonna in the future

ole boys no a few folks been caught. depends on who gets you an for what. county state or feds.

so im tole
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