On any given stretch of road in any given town in the state of Louisiana, there are least two — if not more — drive-thru daiquiri shops.
Since the inception of the frozen drive-thru daiquiri shop in the late 20th century, Louisianans have taken great pride in the fact that they can drive through an unassuming shop and purchase a styrofoam cup (or two; most are buy-one-get-one) without leaving the confines of their car.
This cultural phenomenon got its start, not in the city of New Orleans, but an unincorporated community just outside the college town of Ruston, Louisiana, back in 1979, as noted by Michael Mizell-Nelson.
At that shop, and hundreds that have popped up in the past 40 years, countless customers have been able to drive past a window, buy a frozen daiquiri, and drive away with a seemingly open container in their car. But how is that legal?
How Is This A Thing?
Tape. That’s how. A small piece of tape is all that prevents drive-thru daiquiri customers from getting pulled over and charged with driving with an open container.
According to Mizell-Nelson, the whole tape on the lid phenomenon got started in the early 1980s when the city of Lafayette, Louisiana, introduced a law “forbidding open containers of alcohol in ‘moving vehicles’.” This caused one daiquiri store owner to get creative and claim that his containers were sealed because “the lids were taped to foam cups.”
Like the one in Lafayette, open container laws soon spread throughout the state. The Louisiana Open Container law (LSA 32:300) pretty much states that a frozen daiquiri isn’t an open container unless there are certain conditions:
“Open alcoholic beverage container” shall not mean any bottle, can, or other receptacle that contains a frozen alcoholic beverage unless the lid is removed, a straw protrudes therefrom, or the contents of the receptacle have been partially removed.”
This interpretation of the law still persists, decades and millions of daiquiris later.
Do Other States Have Drive-Thru Daiquiri Shops?
Judging by most Americans and their reactions to drive-thru daiquiri stores whenever they hear about them or visit one for themselves, not too many other states have drive-thru shops, at least not ones with the only thing stopping them from drinking and driving is piece of tape.
All in all, there are 30 states that allow drive-thru liquor stores to operate, but only four of those allow drive-thru daiquiris, margaritas, or other frozen drinks to be sold in cup form.
Oxford, Mississippi, home to Ole Miss, saw its first drive-thru daiquiri shop in early 2019, just months after the State Legislature passed a law defining open containers.
But Mississippi isn’t the only state to join Louisiana in on the fun of drive-thru daiquiri shops. Areas in Texas and Florida are home to a number of shops that all specialize in selling drivers 32oz cups filled to the brim with sugary and very alcoholic frozen drinks over the past few years.
But if you’re looking for the real deal frozen daiquiri shop with flavors like Purple Rain or 190 Antifreeze, you’re better off just making a trip to Louisiana.