Since I turned 21 this past summer in NYC, all I looked forward to after work was meeting my friends for Happy Hour. Alcoholic drinks in the city can range from $9 to over $15 each. This is pretty expensive for a college gal on a budget and let's be real, how often do we really settle for "one drink" and call it a night? 

If you know me, then you know I love my deals. Imagine my surprise when my friend, who goes to school in Boston, told me there's no Happy Hour in Massachusetts... because it's illegal?! 

Happy Hour is the term for the glorious time of the work day where restaurants and bars typically lower the regular price of their alcoholic beverages, such as beers, wines and cocktails. These deals are created to promote their business and increase foot traffic by advertising their Happy Hours. However, there are states in the US who decided against this happy time and decided to ban it. Due to this ban, businesses are not allowed to set a time to reduce or discount the price of drinks in these states. 

Where Is It Banned? 

"Happy Hour," as defined above, is currently completely banned in eight states. This means you'll be paying full price for your after-work-drinks in Massachusetts, Alaska, Indiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont.

Although some states have banned Happy Hour completely,  many others have set specific restrictions to regulate it. This includes prohibiting offering free or discounted drinks, unlimited drinks, drinks as a prize or as a type of promotion, advertising the prices of drinks or offering more than two drinks to an individual at a given time. Exact restrictions and regulations can be confusing since they vary by state. 

But, Why?

The reasoning behind the states ban on Happy Hour varies. For the most part, they say it's to "discourage binge drinking," which is a pretty valid reason.

If they discount the prices, or give away drinks for free, customers can feel more inclined to drink more, so Happy Hour technically does encourage binge drinking Essentially, Happy Hour becomes an incentive to drink and take advantage of the deal.

Although it's great for getting us those 2-for-1 margaritas, the real problem is associated with what happens when people drink too much. People are more likely to be involved in public indecency or drunk driving, and the state is trying to avoid the likelihood of this happening, or at least lessen its chance of happening. Ultimately, they're thinking of the safety and health of the people.

On the flip side, no Happy Hour means these businesses get to keep their prices high. Restaurants and bars in these states don't need to compete with each other to undercut the price of their alcoholic beverages to attract customers. 

Although having these happy hour drink specials is super attractive, these businesses have to come up with other ways to reel in their customers, otherwise, the after work hours could be pretty slow. So, you may find these restaurants and bars offering happy hour food specials instead. Not too shabby, huh?

To those living in these states, unless you're disciplined and can settle for that "one drink" at the bar or restaurant, you might want to try making your own Happy Hour. Start by learning how to make these seven cheap cocktails or if you're a little more adventurous, make your own wine instead!