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In Pennsylvania, buying beer out of state makes you a bootlegger

Adam Vickers is a just a regular guy who works for a general contractor and sometimes takes the back way home from work in Maryland. On occasion, he stops at a rural liquor store in Freeland, Md., to pick up some beer on his drive to Stewartstown, not far over the state line in Pennsylvania.

It sounds innocent enough, but under Pennsylvania’s Prohibition-era liquor laws, Vickers is also considered a bootlegger, and he’s technically subject to a citation just for picking up some cold ones, like he did the Thursday before Labor Day.

As crazy as it sounds, it’s against the law for Pennsylvania residents to buy alcohol outside of the state and then bring it back.

“I wasn’t aware that it was actually illegal,” Vickers said, cradling a 12-pack that would become contraband as soon as his truck crossed the Mason-Dixon Line.

“It’s absurd,” he added.

Still, Vickers and the several other Pennsylvania residents who often stop at the same store on their way home from work — though technically breaking the law — probably don’t have to worry about state police setting up a roadblock to stop them.

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