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Illegal Distillery Uncovered in Davis Garage

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Times may have changed since the days of prohibition, but police say something illegal was brewing in one Davis garage and the woman who lives there agreed.

Police say that woman contacted authorities Saturday after walking into her garage and finding a pressure cooker, a coil of copper and a plastic tub of clear liquid.

Police say someone in the home was using it to make illegal alcohol.

“I do not want to talk about it. I do not want any publicity,” she said.

Laws that date back to prohibition bar people from making alcoholic spirits or moonshine without a license.

“The ‘Volstead Act’ made it illegal to manufacture or transport, not necessarily to have, alcohol,” business owner J.J. Jackson said.

Jackson has been making beer legally since the early 80’s, thanks to the late California Senator Alan Cranston.

Back in 1978, Cranston helped legalize home brewing, but the process of home distilling (isolating the alcohol from beer or wine) is still illegal.

Jackson says the reason why is taxes and safety.

“Vaporized alcohol is more explosive than gasoline,” Jackson said.

While no one was injured or arrested in the Davis garage, police say they are still investigating.

Davis police said they are questioning more than one man connected to the distillery.

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  • docdrak

    This has a lot more to do about taxes than safety. Alcohol tax is $27.00 per gallon of 100% alcohol, or $13.50 per "proof gallon" (1 gallon of 100 proof alcohol which is 50% by volume). Distilleries have to be licensed, the alcohol produced must either have taxes paid on it or be rendered unfit for drinking ("denatured") before it can leave the premises of the distillery. Production of fuel alcohol is also subject to tax or be "denatured" in order to leave the premises of the distillery, and can not be produced for drinking.