In 2023, it’s hard to imagine anyone is unfamiliar with the dangers of drinking and driving. Beyond the obvious safety hazards that come with driving while under the influence, the minimum punishment for offenders includes license revocation, a fine, and the probability of jail time in 42 states. Despite the laws strictly defining the parameters of drunk driving — and the repercussions for those who choose to do so anyway — Louisiana has somehow come to champion a quirky staple that appears to be the polar opposite of the state’s drunk-driving initiatives: the drive-thru Daiquiri.

Completely legal and thoroughly beloved by Louisiana natives, the drive-thru Daiquiri dates back to the early 1980s when the state had yet to enact any laws prohibiting drinking and driving. The first drive-thru Daiquiri shop is widely believed to have originated in Lafayette in 1981 when David Ervin opened the Daiquiri Factory, a stand for people to drive up to, grab a drink to-go, and drive on. Despite the fact that Ervin received some backlash questions regarding the stand’s safety, there was little that could be done to stop the widespread favor he went on to receive.

However, just a few months later, in June 1982, Lafayette finally put forth legislation in the form of a public ordinance outlawing open containers in cars and criminalizing drinking and driving, forcing Ervin to get creative. The very same day the ordinance passed, he held a promotional event at the Daiquiri Factory, offering patrons free Champagne and T-shirts, as well as introducing the drive-thru Daiquiris’ new closed containers — the same exact cup, just sealed with a piece of plastic tape securing the lid to the cup and covering the straw hole.

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The loophole held up, permitting the sale of frozen drive-thru Daiquiris in “closed containers” as long as the tape remains intact, no liquid is removed, and the straw remains on the side, not protruding through the lid, until an individual exits their vehicle. The law explicitly states that it does not apply to “any bottle, can, or other receptacle that contains any amount of frozen alcoholic beverage unless the lid is removed, a straw protrudes therefrom, or the contents of the receptacle have been partially removed.” As long as these conditions are met, the drive-thru liquor service is totally kosher.

Rather than slow down the appearance of drive-thru Daiquiri shops, the ordinance had the opposite impact, and just three months after its ratification, Glynn Weber opened up Glynn’s Daiquiri Place and experienced the same levels of success experienced by Ervin at the Daiquiri Factory. By December 1983, there were a number of competing Daiquiri shops open for business across New Orleans’ suburbs.

Today, there are dozens of drive-thru Daiquiri shops across Louisiana, with the New Orleans Original Daiquiri chain operating upwards of 30 locations. Along with the local chain, a number of smaller shops like Daiquiris & Cream, Daiquiri Stop, and Daiquiris & Company all compete to get frozen drinks in the hands of thirsty drivers. The establishments function like any other drive-thru: Drivers simply roll up to the window, order their drink — of which there are usually more than 10 flavors to choose from — and have their ID inspected before the taped-shut styrofoam cup is handed to them with the straw on the side.

Despite the fact that the operation is fully legal, a number of individuals have sneakily broken the law, choosing to drink their Daiquiris en route rather than waiting until they’re home to imbibe. One customer even tells Louisiana-based publication 64 Parishes: “I keep an unused straw in my car. If I get stopped, I just whip out the used one and show them the new one. Looks like a closed container then.”

While Louisiana may have been the first state to offer drive-thru frozen cocktails, it certainly was not the last. Today, folks can order frozen Daiquiris, Margaritas, and other frozen drinks to-go at establishments in Mississippi, Texas, and Florida. Three of those states — Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana — consistently rank in the top 10 states with the most drunk driving deaths, with Florida not far behind in the 15th spot.

Though the establishments can pose a clear threat to public safety, with the inherent contradiction of driving a car through what is essentially a bar, Louisiana’s beloved drive-thru frozen Daiquiris are unlikely to melt any time soon.