Congress passed the 18th amendment to attempt the prohibition of alcohol. The Volstead Act also implemented the prohibition of alcohol in 1919. These acts were popular in the South and West because many wanted to keep alcohol out of the reach of blacks. Prohibition attacked public drunkenness, prostitution, corruption, and crime in the West. Many foreigners were against this because drinking was an integral social aspect. As a result of the kidnap and murder of Charles A. Lindbergh, Congress also passed the Lindbergh Law that said interstate abduction was a death-penalty crime.
Prohibition was not well-enforced by a large army of officials. The government was not powerful enough to enforce a law where most were opposed to the idea. Congress made it a crime when it was never considered one in the first place. In actuality, people were drinking more during prohibition than before it. Many corner saloons had tiny grilled windows where people would discreetly ask for alcohol. Many took up brewing their own concoctions, some which caused blindness and even death. Prohibition spurred many crimes. The police were bribed and rival gangs fought each other to corner the market in booze. One famous gangster was Al Capone who gained millions of dollars through bloody booze distribution and gang related activities. Gangsters also advocated other profitable activities like prostitution, gambling, and narcotics. Merchants had to pay "protection money" to organized thugs to avoid them destroying their shops.
High alcoholic beverages were popular at this time because it was harder to conceal bottles. Foreign rumrunners in the West Indies and Canada supplied a great supply of liquor to America. However, bank savings increased and absenteeism in industry decreased. Illegal alcohol became profitable among gangsters and organized crime became one of the biggest businesses by 1930, with an income of $18 billion.