This is Prohibition in a nutshell: driven by moral panic, costly to police and prosecute, flouted and ridiculed from border to border, and pretty much completely ineffective.
The history of Prohibition in Maine echoes the history of the nation-wide Temperance movement, except that Maine is, sadly, a helluva lot more experienced in this statist bullshit than any other U.S. state: Maine was officially dry for some 83 years, a record.
Through most of it, alcoholic drinks weren't completely forbidden. But my state had a monopoly on the stuff in the form of a small and tightly-controlled alcohol-selling enterprise. Portland, for instance, could boast an honest-to-god agency liquor store on the ground floor of City Hall. Under Maine’s Prohibition law, an agency store was allowed to sell liquor "for medicinal and industrial purposes," thus putting it in competition with organized crime and small-time moonshiners alike. And if perhaps some of the local enforcers (called "liquor deputies") or a thirsty City Hall pencil pusher occasionally wanted a tipple, well, they had good connections, and they didn't have to walk far.
The rest of the time, they'd busy themselves going after scofflaws like these:
In one week in July 1855,
...local police had seized 123 gallons of liquor from a grog shop on Munjoy Hill, 60 gallons from a cart in the street supposedly carrying barrels of flour, 10 gallons from a steamer at the wharves, and 57 gallons from the schooner Comet.
Also in that period,
police found four kegs of liquor packed in salt inside four barrels of “mess pork.” The barrels of “pork” were addressed to a man in Mechanic Falls, who quickly claimed “he had no knowledge of the transaction, had never ordered any liquor at all.” Obviously, liquor was finding its way into Maine.*
19th-century Portland mayor Neal Dow was a leader of the Temperance movement. According to the very entertaining and informative DownEast Magazine article from which I've plucked the information above, Dow still has admirers today, including one who glowingly compares Hizzoner's one-time fame to ... Elvis Presley's. Because nothing says temperance like a bloated lounge singer who died on the toilet after sucking down a quantity of prescription drugs that would knock out an elephant.
Read it all.
* Note how closely this fact tracks to the easy availablity of all manner of illicit drugs today. Prohibition, meant to choke off supply, was a failed idea then, and remains so now.