Thanks to a hodge-podge of post-Prohibition alcohol regulations many states have never modernized, plenty of bizarre booze laws can still be found across the country. It’s a lesson a manager at a bar in Oklahoma recently learned the hard way. He was arrested because his place of employment serves bacon-infused vodka, currently a big no-no in the Sooner State.
The owner of The Pump Bar in Oklahoma City, Ian McDermid, told The Journal Record he would go to bat for his employee in trying to fight the charge. “You should see the look on people’s faces, the laughs, when you say my manager went to county lockup for three days because we put strips of bacon inside a bottle of vodka,” McDermid was quoted as saying.
The problem is that homemade alcohol infusions actually might be illegal in Oklahoma. According to KGOU, the arrest stems from a violation of “Article 5, Section 30-97 as defined in Section 30-96: Maintaining a disorderly house by violation of the state's prohibition laws by the unlawful refill of a liquor bottle.” Once a bottle of alcohol has been opened, the rules are clear, according to Oklahoma City Police Master Sgt. Gary Knight. “You cannot put anything into it and serve it,” he said. “You can only pour out of it.” McDermid is currently looking for some wiggle room because infusion is not specifically mentioned in the law.
However, as we all know, just because something is illegal, doesn’t mean it should be illegal, and according to former Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission attorney John Maisch, the commission might be willing to rethink the laws as they stand now. “There are dozens of restaurants throughout the state of Oklahoma that are infusing drinks, so if it’s illegal then someone has neglected to tell them,” Maisch said to the Journal Record.
In the meantime, The Pump Bar has cut its popular infused vodkas from the menu until the commission gives further word on whether infusions are legal or not.