What are blue laws?
Blue laws are the laws that restrict the people from doing particular activities for some days or some hours in a day. It limits the business hours and sale of commerce for a particular time, especially the selling of alcohol on particular days and hours. These laws were based on religious principles and were enforced to upgrade the moral standards of the common people.
These laws are mainly found in U.S. Some other countries like Saudi Arabia, Israel also follows these laws. There is a law in some parts of U.S that you cannot sell alcoholic beverages on Sundays because they observe this day as the day for worship and rest. In Israel, it is on Saturday and in Saudi Arabia you cannot sell alcoholic beverages in the month of ramzan.
Most of the blue laws are declared unconstitutional and are removed from the law books. But some laws still persist, and they prohibit the selling of alcoholic beverages occasionally and limit all commerce on a particular day and for a particular time.
Many people believe that these laws were written on blue paper that is why they are named as blue laws but there is no such evidence available in the favor of this. In 18th century the word blue was used for the things that are immoral or overly moralistic. The purpose of these laws was to upgrade the moral values in the public, so they were named as blue laws.
The term “blue law” was first found in the book general history of Connecticut wrote by reverend Samuel peters. It says that these laws were started by puritan colonies in 17th century to enhance the moral standards of the people by restricting the sale of some commodities, especially the alcoholic beverages for a particular day in a week or for some hours in a day. Sometimes all business activities were prohibited for a particular day. These laws were enforced so that people can come for prayers on that particular day without consuming alcoholic beverages, and they do not avoid going for prayers because of their business.
Some researchers say that the work of Samuel is unreliable, and they believe that Samuel himself invented the term.
Whatever the history behind these laws, one thing is clear that these laws were created to enhance the moral standards of the common people.