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View Full Version : Moonshine, legal or no?


decuervo
08-02-05, 04:00 AM
Just curious, but is it illegal to make moonshine for personal consumption? I'm not sure if making distilled spirits for personal consumption is legal or not. Got into a discussion with someone over this a few days ago since my grandfather still makes his own.


Ironhead
08-02-05, 06:30 AM
Beer and wine are legal to make for personal consumption, but not distilled liquor.

I live in the county adjacent for Franklin County Virginia, which has the dubious nickname of "The Moonshine Capital of the World" Seldom a week goes by that you don't hear of, or read about, a moonshine case around here.

Part of the reason for it being illegal is because it is dangerous. Done improperly, moonshine can poison you. Even when done properly, it is a risky proposition. The heat and pressure required for distilling can make your still blow up. Also, if you use lead-based solder in the joints when making your still (which many people do) the lead will leech into the liquor and you will slowly kill yourself as lead builds up in your body.

Tell your grandfather that he is breaking the law and that you care about him and wish for him to stop. Then (if you are over 21) buy hima bottle of his favorite flavor. ;)

Ironhead
08-02-05, 06:30 AM
Beer and wine are legal to make for personal consumption, but not distilled liquor.

I live in the county adjacent for Franklin County Virginia, which has the dubious nickname of "The Moonshine Capital of the World" Seldom a week goes by that you don't hear of, or read about, a moonshine case around here.

Part of the reason for it being illegal is because it is dangerous. Done improperly, moonshine can poison you. Even when done properly, it is a risky proposition. The heat and pressure required for distilling can make your still blow up. Also, if you use lead-based solder in the joints when making your still (which many people do) the lead will leech into the liquor and you will slowly kill yourself as lead builds up in your body.

Tell your grandfather that he is breaking the law and that you care about him and wish for him to stop. Then (if you are over 21) buy him a bottle of his favorite flavor. ;)


valycop
08-02-05, 11:31 AM
-CITE-

26 USC Sec. 5601 01/06/03

-EXPCITE-

TITLE 26 - INTERNAL REVENUE CODE

Subtitle E - Alcohol, Tobacco, and Certain Other Excise Taxes

CHAPTER 51 - DISTILLED SPIRITS, WINES, AND BEER

Subchapter J - Penalties, Seizures, and Forfeitures Relating to

Liquors

PART I - PENALTY, SEIZURE, AND FORFEITURE PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO

DISTILLING, RECTIFYING, AND DISTILLED AND RECTIFIED

PRODUCTS

-HEAD-

Sec. 5601. Criminal penalties

-STATUTE-

(a) Offenses

Any person who -

(1) Unregistered stills

has in his possession or custody, or under his control, any

still or distilling apparatus set up which is not registered, as

required by section 5179(a); or

(2) Failure to file application

engages in the business of a distiller or processor without

having filed application for and received notice of registration,

as required by section 5171(c); or

(3) False or fraudulent application

engages, or intends to engage, in the business of distiller,

warehouseman, or processor of distilled spirits, and files a

false or fraudulent application under section 5171; or

(4) Failure or refusal of distiller, warehouseman, or processor

to give bond

carries on the business of a distiller, warehouseman, or

processor without having given bond as required by law; or

(5) False, forged, or fraudulent bond

engages, or intends to engage, in the business of distiller,

warehouseman, or processor of distilled spirits, and gives any

false, forged, or fraudulent bond, under subchapter B; or

(6) Distilling on prohibited premises

uses, or possesses with intent to use, any still, boiler, or

other utensil for the purpose of producing distilled spirits, or

aids or assists therein, or causes or procures the same to be

done, in any dwelling house, or in any shed, yard, or inclosure

connected with such dwelling house (except as authorized under

section 5178(a)(1)(C)), or on board any vessel or boat, or on any

premises where beer or wine is made or produced, or where liquors

of any description are retailed, or on premises where any other

business is carried on (except when authorized under section

5178(b)); or

(7) Unlawful production, removal, or use of material fit for

production of distilled spirits

except as otherwise provided in this chapter, makes or ferments

mash, wort, or wash, fit for distillation or for the production

of distilled spirits, in any building or on any premises other

than the designated premises of a distilled spirits plant

lawfully qualified to produce distilled spirits, or removes,

without authorization by the Secretary, any mash, wort, or wash,

so made or fermented, from the designated premises of such

lawfully qualified plant before being distilled; or

(8) Unlawful production of distilled spirits

not being a distiller authorized by law to produce distilled

spirits, produces distilled spirits by distillation or any other

process from any mash, wort, wash, or other material; or

(9) Unauthorized use of distilled spirits in manufacturing

processes

except as otherwise provided in this chapter, uses distilled

spirits in any process of manufacture unless such spirits -

(A) have been produced in the United States by a distiller

authorized by law to produce distilled spirits and withdrawn in

compliance with law; or

(B) have been imported (or otherwise brought into the United

States) and withdrawn in compliance with law; or

(10) Unlawful processing

engages in or carries on the business of a processor -

(A) with intent to defraud the United States of any tax on

the distilled spirits processed by him; or

(B) with intent to aid, abet, or assist any person or persons

in defrauding the United States of the tax on any distilled

spirits; or

(11) Unlawful purchase, receipt, or processing of distilled

spirits

purchases, receives, or processes any distilled spirits,

knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe that any tax due

on such spirits has not been paid or determined as required by

law; or

(12) Unlawful removal or concealment of distilled spirits

removes, other than as authorized by law, any distilled spirits

on which the tax has not been paid or determined, from the place

of manufacture or storage, or from any instrument of

transportation, or conceals spirits so removed; or

(13) Creation of fictitious proof

adds, or causes to be added, any ingredient or substance (other

than ingredients or substances authorized by law to be added) to

any distilled spirits before the tax is paid thereon, or

determined as provided by law, for the purpose of creating

fictitious proof; or

(14) Distilling after notice of suspension

after the time fixed in the notice given under section 5221(a)

to suspend operations as a distiller, carries on the business of

a distiller on the premises covered by the notice of suspension,

or has mash, wort, or beer on such premises, or on any premises

connected therewith, or has in his possession or under his

control any mash, wort, or beer, with intent to distill the same

on such premises; or

(15) Unauthorized withdrawal, use, sale, or distribution of

distilled spirits for fuel use

Withdraws,(!1) uses, sells, or otherwise disposes of distilled

spirits produced under section 5181 for other than fuel use;

shall be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than 5

years, or both, for each such offense.

(b) Presumptions

Whenever on trial for violation of subsection (a)(4) the

defendant is shown to have been at the site or place where, and at

the time when, the business of a distiller or processor was so

engaged in or carried on, such presence of the defendant shall be

deemed sufficient evidence to authorize conviction, unless the

defendant explains such presence to the satisfaction of the jury

(or of the court when tried without jury).

-SOURCE-

(Added Pub. L. 85-859, title II, Sec. 201, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat.

1398; amended Pub. L. 94-455, title XIX, Secs. 1905(a)(22),

1906(b)(13)(A), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1820, 1834; Pub. L. 96-39,

title VIII, Sec. 807(a)(52), July 26, 1979, 93 Stat. 288; Pub. L.

96-223, title II, Sec. 232(e)(2)(A), Apr. 2, 1980, 94 Stat. 280.)

-MISC1-

PRIOR PROVISIONS

A prior section 5601, act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 683,

consisted of provisions similar to those comprising subsec. (a)(1)

of this section, and also related to forfeiture for possession of

unregistered still or distilling apparatus, prior to the general

revision of this chapter by Pub. L. 85-859. See section 5615(1) of

this title.

Provisions similar to those comprising subsecs. (a)(2) to (8),

(9)(A), (10) to (14) of this section were contained in prior

sections of act Aug. 16, 1954, prior to the general revision of

this chapter by Pub. L. 85-859, as follows:

Present subd. of subsec. Prior sections

(a):

--------------------------------------------------------------------

(2) 5172, 5603.

(3) 5603.

(4) 5172, 5604, 5606.

(5) 5604.

(6) 5171, 5607.

(7) 5216(a)(1), (4), 5608(a).

(8) 5216(a)(1), 5608(a).

(9) 5216(a)(1), 5608(a).

(10) 5628, 5629.

(11) 5629.

(12) 5608(a), 5631, 5632, 5643, 5647.

(13) 5634.

(14) 5650.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

The prior sections, act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, are set out in

68A Stat. 627, 640, 641, 684, 685, 689, 690, 692, 693, 695.

AMENDMENTS

1980 - Subsec. (a)(15). Pub. L. 96-223 added par. (15).

1979 - Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 96-39, Sec. 807(a)(52)(A), struck

out "distiller or rectifier" in heading and substituted "processor"

for "rectifier" and "section 5171(c)" for "section 5171(a)" in

text.

Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 96-39, Sec. 807(a)(52)(B), substituted

"warehouseman, or processor" for "bonded warehouseman, rectifier,

or bottler".

Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 96-39, Sec. 807(a)(52)(C), substituted

"warehouseman, or processor" for "or rectifier" in heading and in

text.

Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 96-39, Sec. 807(a)(52)(B), substituted

"warehouseman, or processor" for "bonded warehouseman, rectifier,

or bottler".

Subsec. (a)(10). Pub. L. 96-39, Sec. 807(a)(52)(D), substituted

"processing" for "rectifying or bottling" in par. (10) heading,

"processor" for "rectifier, or a bottler of distilled spirits" in

text preceding subpar. (A), and "processed" for "rectified or

bottled" in subpar. (A).

Subsec. (a)(11). Pub. L. 96-39, Sec. 807(a)(52)(E), substituted

"or processing" for "rectification, or bottling" in heading and "or

processes" for "rectifies, or bottles" in text.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 96-39, Sec. 807(a)(52)(F), substituted

"processor" for "rectifier".

1976 - Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 94-455, Sec. 1906(b)(13)(A),

struck out "or his delegate" after "Secretary".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94-455, Sec. 1905(a)(22), struck out par.

(1) relating to presumptions in the matter of unregistered stills,

par. (3) relating to presumptions in the matter of unlawful

production, removal, or use of material fit for production of

distilled spirits, and par. (4) relating to presumptions in the

matter of unlawful production of distilled spirits, and struck out

the number designation "(2)" and heading for former par. (2),

leaving only the text for former par. (2) relating to presumptions

in the matter of failure or refusal of distiller or rectifier to

give bond.

EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1980 AMENDMENT

Amendment by Pub. L. 96-223 effective on first day of first

calendar month beginning more than 60 days after Apr. 2, 1980, see

section 232(h)(3) of Pub. L. 96-223, set out as an Effective Date

note under section 5181 of this title.

EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1979 AMENDMENT

Amendment by Pub. L. 96-39 effective Jan. 1, 1980, see section

810 of Pub. L. 96-39, set out as a note under section 5001 of this

title.

EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1976 AMENDMENT

Amendment by Pub. L. 94-455 effective on first day of first month

which begins more than 90 days after Oct. 4, 1976, see section

1905(d) of Pub. L. 94-455, set out as a note under section 5005 of

this title.

EFFECTIVE DATE

Section effective July 1, 1959, see section 210(a)(1) of Pub. L.

85-859, set out as a note under section 5001 of this title.

PROSECUTION AND PUNISHMENT OF OFFENSES COMMITTED AND PENALTIES OR

FORFEITURES INCURRED; SAVINGS PROVISION

Section 210(c) of title II of Pub. L. 85-859 provided that: "All

offenses committed, and all penalties or forfeitures incurred,

under any provision of law amended by this title [enacting sections

5849, 5854, 5855 and 7608 of this title, amending this chapter,

chapter 52 of this title and sections 5801, 5811, 5814, 7272, 7301,

7224 to 7326, 7609, 7652 and 7655 of this title, and enacting notes

set out under this section and sections 5001, 5006, 5025, 5064,

5175, and 5304 of this title], may be prosecuted and punished in

the same manner and with the same effect as if this title had not

been enacted."

-SECREF-

Terminator
08-02-05, 11:25 PM
Not legal...my Uncle was killed from Moonshine poisoning...it's not worth it.