Saturday, December 20, 2014

Are Moonshine Stills A Problem In Alabama?
By Ashley Thompson

Moonshine is any spirit that is made without a permit.

It is often very strong and can contain up to 95% alcohol. But is this illegal substance being taken seriously in Alabama?

Wayne Mackey is a s

ergeant for Alabama's Alcohol Beverage Control Board and says the dangers of moonshine need to be taken more seriously.

"People think it's a thing of the past," he says.

To prove Sergeant Mackey's point, there have been three moonshine busts in recent weeks. One October 25th in Pike County, one November 9th in Lowndes County where 100 gallons of moonshine was seized, and another November 16th in Northern Pike County . There is even a reality show that follows those who produce this illegal substance.

"I do not think that the population as a whole takes it as serious as it once was. I think that the population in large part due to television shows that glamorize it and the fact that it is not believed to be as widespread as it is. It's not as well known," Mackey says.

Maybe he has a point. Residents I spoke with in Pike County didn't view Moonshine as all that bad.

"Everybody's got things that they do outside of their personal lives in the privacy of their own homes so I don't think it's a problem at all," says Pike County resident Derrick Taylor.

"It's got some deep history here in Alabama. I don't know, I would say mediocre problem. Nothing too bad," says Pike County resident Nate Tompkins.

Sergeant Mackey says he suspects the popularity of moonshine correlates with how the economy is doing.

Moonshine stills are usually found in woods and rural areas. Drinking moonshine can be hazardous and even deadly because of these unsanitary conditions in which it is made.