The 18th Amendment established Prohibition but it was the Volstead Act that was passed on October 28, 1919 that clarified the law. The Volstead Act stated that "beer, wine or other intoxicating malt or vinous liquors" meant any beverage that was more than 0.5% alcohol by volume. Also, the Act stated that owning any item designed to manufacture alcohol was illegal and listed specific fines and jail sentences for violating Prohibition.

There were a few loopholes that people took advantage of, so they could legally continue to drink during Prohibition.

For example, the 18th Amendment did not mention the actual drinking of liquor. Go figure!

There was a full year's time after the ratification of the 18th Amendment before, Prohibition became law. That was ample time for lots of folks, to buy up cases of then legal alcohol and store them for personal use. That's using their heads.

According to the Volstead Act, alcohol consumption was allowed, if prescribed by a doctor. No surprise here! All of a sudden, there were large numbers of prescriptions being written for alcohol.

Of course, there were plenty of illegal ways to drink during Prohibition and we'll cover that tomorrow.