The 18th Amendment only forbade the “manufacture, sale and transportation of intoxicating liquors”—not their consumption. It wasn’t illegal to drink alcohol during Prohibition. Apparent alcohol use fell from 1914 to 1922. Alcohol consumption rose to record levels during alcohol prohibition. The prohibition of alcohol in the United States lasted for 13 years: from January 16, 1920, through December 5, 1933. The speakeasy was born, organised crime moved in and alcohol … It is one of the most famous—or infamous—times in American history. But prohibition did not ban alcohol consumption and many Americans found legal and not so legal ways to carry on drinking. Organized crime may have become more visible and lurid during Prohibition, but it existed before and after.

In other words, within a few years of the 18th Amendment being ratified, alcohol consumption returned to pre-Prohibition levels. National alcohol prohibition began in 1920.
However, by 1929, per capita consumption had steadily risen to 1.3 gallons. Fourth, following the repeal of Prohibition, alcohol consumption increased. It rose thereafter.

We estimate the consumption of alcohol during Prohibition using mortality, mental health and crime statistics. By 1925, arrests for public drunkenness and similar alcohol-related offenses were already above the pre-prohibition records. 3.
Today, the annual per capita consumption of alcohol in the US is 9.4 liters, or 2.5 gallons. Starting in 1921, however, alcohol consumption rebounded quickly and soon reached about two-thirds of pre-Prohibition levels. We find that alcohol consumption fell sharply at the beginning of Prohibition, to approximately 30 percent of its pre-Prohibition level. While the intention was to reduce the consumption of alcohol by eliminating businesses that manufactured, distributed and sold it, the plan backfired.

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