By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
The nation was in the midst of prohibition in 1922, but that wasn’t going to stop Bill Binon from asserting his rights as an American citizen. Those rights might not have included the right to drink a little corn liquor – or really any alcohol unless it was medically prescribed – but they did still include the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. So, when law enforcement tried to seize his liquor, he refused to give them access to his saddle bags, noting they had no warrant or probable cause. They ended up taking his four gallons of liquor anyway, but Binon vowed to fight the charge based on the violation of his rights.
We’re not sure if Binon was acquitted of the charge or not, but it might not have mattered anyway. Citizens who supported temperance were not above taking the law into their own hands, like one woman who took it upon herself to destroy the contents of a still she came upon. All 75 gallons of it.
Binon may have had rights he could assert with legal authorities, but there was little he or anyone could do about vandalism to the stills that supplied them.
Thankfully that isn’t a problem anyone in Carter County needs to worry about today, with two wet communities in our otherwise dry county. But, please, if you plan to drink this holiday weekend – be it beer from the carry-out or something a little more traditional like Mr. Binon carried on his person – do so safely and responsibly and please do not drink and drive.
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