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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 36


Tt is the design of this tract to present a faithful summary of existing Excise laws with the various rulings and decisions of courts, so that all may understand how far the liquor traffic is subject to legal restraint and just suppression, and what measures and protection from intemperance are practically within the people's reach.

The present statute for "suppressing intemperance, and regulating the sale of intoxicating liquors" (with one or two unimportant additions, and a few special provisions for the cities of New York and Brooklyn, which are not here considered), is comprised in five different acts of the Legislature, to wit: Chapter 628, act of 1857; Chapter 856. act of 1869; Chapter 175, act of 1870; Chapter 549, act of 1873; Chapter 820, act of 1873; Chapter 444, act of 1874; and Civil Damage Law, act of 1873.

The character and intent of our Excise system will be gathered from the nine following particulars:
1.It proffers to the people "local prohibition," indirect, hut sure.
2.Where majorities will have drinking-houses, the law authorizes and licences them., but imposes so many restraints and hazards on the business that scarcely any man will ask for license who means intelligently to obey the law, or expects that his neighbors will honesty enforce it.
3.The law has annihilating penalties against unlicensed selling.
4.Makes Excise boards, magistrates, policemen, etc., punishable for official neglect.
5.Imposes line, imprisonment, and loss of license for Sunday dram-selling.
6.Inflicts penalties for offences.
7.Has a plain and sweepingly just civil damage section.
8.Severe punishment for the sale of adulterated liquors.
9.It opens the different courts to complainants, and entitles "any person" to make sure the prosecution of offenders.

Let us see how plainly all this can be made to appear.