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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke March 30, 2020

No, states like Illinois and California aren’t banning alcohol sales

If Your Time is short

  • Claims that states are banning alcohol sales appear to have originated on a prank page. 

You can call off your emergency trip to the liquor store — states aren’t really stopping the sale of alcohol. But recent Facebook posts would have you think otherwise. 

"No beer or alcohol sales in state of Illinois as of 3pm starting Monday March, 30th," reads an image posted by one account. Then there are links to stories with headlines like this one: "NC Governor to stop all alcohol sales beginning Friday, April 3rd. Another one claims "Gov. Gavin Newsom suspends alcohol in CA as of March 28."

These posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

Some of these posts, such as one about Mississippi banning booze that has since been pulled down, appear to be screenshots of a news story. But if you click on the links in other posts, it brings you to a page that says "you got pranked." 

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The joke, however, is getting lost on many Facebook users as they share both these blog posts and images of seeming media stories with this tee-totaling news. 

Searching for actual news stories about states banning alcohol, we found none. However, Pennsylvania, where the state runs liquor stores, has closed down all of its off-premise locations indefinitely, Forbes reports. "It remains the only part of the country where residents have such limited access to distilled spirits," the publication says.

People in Pennsylvania can still buy alcohol, however. One distillery is selling bottles from a drive-thru and shipping to folks’ front doors. Another shop is selling vodka and whiskey for curbside pickup. California, meanwhile, is among the states to loosen alcohol rules for restaurants, allowing them to sell beer, wine and cocktails to go as people are preventing from dining in due to shelter-in-place orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

We rate these Facebook posts False.

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No, states like Illinois and California aren’t banning alcohol sales

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