National Prohibition Act Law and Legal Definition

The National Prohibition Act of 1919 is a federal law enacted to provide for the implementation of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which established National Prohibition of alcoholic beverages.

The purpose of the act was to prohibit intoxicating beverages, and to regulate the manufacture, production, use, and sale of high-proof spirits for other than beverage purposes, and to insure an ample supply of alcohol and promote its use in scientific research and in the development of fuel, dye, and other lawful industries.

The first section of the act continued temporary wartime prohibition until the Eighteenth Amendment could go into effect. The second section of the act focused directly on implementing the constitutional beverage liquor ban. The third section of the act regulated industrial and scientific use of alcohol. The central section of the act concentrated on preventing the manufacture, sale, and distribution of beverage alcohol. The act prescribed punishment by fines of up to $1,000 (at time about two-thirds of median annual family income), imprisonment for up to six months, and forfeiture of vehicles used in the commission of the crime.