Although the 21st Amendment repeals nationwide prohibition in the United States, it allows for prohibition under state or local laws. Prior to and after repeal of nationwide prohibition, some states passed local option laws granting counties and municipalities, either by popular vote or ordinance, the ability to decide for themselves whether to allow alcoholic beverages within their jurisdiction. Many dry communities do not prohibit the consumption of alcohol, which could potentially cause a loss of profits and taxes from the sale of alcohol to their residents in wet (non-prohibition) areas.
The rationale for maintaining prohibition at the local level is often religious in nature, as many evangelical Protestant Christian denominations discourage the consumption of alcohol by their followers (see Christianity and alcohol, sumptuary law, and Bootleggers and Baptists). While state law does not allow for dry counties, laws designed to restrict the sale and consumption of alcohol are common in (but not exclusive to) the mostly LDS (Mormon) state of Utah. Consumption of alcohol is discouraged by the LDS Church.
Since the 21st Amendment repealed nationwide prohibition in the United States, alcohol prohibition legislation has been left to the discretion of each state, but that authority is not absolute. States within the United States and other sovereign territories were once assumed to have the authority to regulate commerce with respect to alcohol traveling to, from, or through their jurisdictions. However, one state's ban on alcohol may not impede interstate commerce between states that permit it. The Supreme Court of the United States held in Granholm v. Heald that states do not have the power to regulate interstate shipments of alcoholic beverages. Therefore, it may be likely that municipal, county, or state legislation banning possession of alcoholic beverages by passengers of vehicles operating in interstate commerce (such as trains and interstate bus lines) would be unconstitutional if passengers on such vehicles were simply passing through the area. Following two 1972 raids on Amtrak trains in Kansas and Oklahoma, then dry states, the bars on trains passing through the two states closed for the duration of the transit, but the alcohol stayed on board.
A 2004 survey by the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association found that more than 500 municipalities in the United States are dry, including 83 in Alaska. Thirty-six of the 82 counties in Mississippi are dry or partially dry. In Florida, three of its 67 counties are dry, all of which are located in the northern part of the state, an area that has cultural ties to the Deep South.
Although Moore County, Tennessee, is the home county of Jack Daniel's, a major operational distillery of whiskey, it is a dry county, so the product is not available at stores or restaurants within the county; however, the distillery does sell commemorative bottles of whiskey on site.