From 1920 to 1933, Prohibition banned the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States. It was not a good time to be an alcoholic. And at the time, there was no bigger alcoholic than Winston Churchill.
In December 1931, before his years as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Churchill found himself in New York City. At 10:30 at night on December 13, he stepped out of his taxicab, looked to his left and, seeing it was clear, began walking across the street. The only problem was that Churchill forget he was in America now and should have looked to his right instead. That is when 26-year-old unemployed mechanic Edward Cantasano hit Churchill with his car.
Churchill suffered a scalp wound and two cracked ribs and was admitted to Lenox Hill Hospital. He told police the accident was his fault and he later met with Cantasano for tea at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. But the best part of the story is the note Churchill received from his doctor:
That’s right, despite the Eighteenth Amendment keeping the rest of the country sober, Churchill was given a medical exception to get drunk whenever he wanted. Not only that, but he could drink as much as he wanted, with the minimum requirement an astonishing 250ml. If you’re not familiar with the metric system, that’s about a large glass of wine or almost six shots. Cheers!