You’ll find here a summary of each state’s laws about the minimum age to sell alcohol in off-premises venues. That is, in places where customers must take the alcohol elsewhere to use it.
States vary widely in their alcohol laws. What is true in one state may not be true in the next. Therefore, it’s important to know the law where you are.
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Some states have higher minimum ages for selling spirits (liquor). The laws in these states reflect a common myth.
The myth has a long history. And most people, even today, believe it.
That myth is that beer, wine, and spirits have different alcohol content. In reality, standard drinks of beer, wine, and spirits (liquor) have the same amount of pure alcohol. Each has 0.6 ounce of alcohol. They’re all the same in terms of alcohol.
Localities may have higher restrictions that that of their state. It’s always wise to check locally. In fact, there are many dry counties and communities.
Minimum Age to Sell Alcohol by State
There is no minimum state age to sell wine or beer in a store for drinking off-site. But a person must be at lease 21 to sell spirits in such a venue. Also, a supervisor of unspecified age must be present.
Discover more at Alabama Alcohol Laws.
Alaskan alcohol sales age laws are simple. Only those age 21 or older may sell beer, wine, or spirits.
But adults age 18 through 20 may work in a licensed eating place. But they may not sell or serve any alcoholic beverages.
Persons of age 16 or older may sell alcohol in an off-site store. That is, they may sell beer, wine, or spirits.
A supervisor at least 19 years old must be on the premises. In addition, the store must primarily sell products other than alcohol.
There are many more Arizona Alcohol Laws.
The state requires people to be adults to sell beer or wine at off-site venues. That is, people must be at least 18 years of age. But adults age 18 through 20 need parental approval to work with alcohol.
On the other hand, people must be at least 21 years old to sell spirits for off-site drinking.
There is no state minimum age to sell alcohol in stores for drinking off-site. But a manager must be present. There is no minimum age of the manager.
More about Golden State laws at California Alcohol Laws.
The state requires sellers of alcohol to be at least age 21. However, adults 18 or older may sell 3.2% alcohol beer in stores for drinking elsewhere.
Explore Colorado Alcohol Laws.
The state permits adults of any age to sell alcohol. So long as it’s for off-site drinking. There are no artificial differences between beer, wine, or spirits.
There’s much more at Connecticut Alcohol Laws: Small State, Big Surprise.
State alcohol laws permit adults 19 years or older to sell alcohol for drinking off-site. They may also serve alcohol for on-premises drinking. But they must be at lest 21 to tend bar.
Check out Delaware Alcohol Laws: Do You Know Them?
District of Columbia (Washington, DC)
DC permits adults of any age to sell alcohol for either off-site or on-site drinking. They may also tend bar or serve alcohol in on-site venues. Thus, the minimum age in all cases is 18.
It’s a capital idea to visit Washington, DC Alcohol Laws.
State law has no minimum age for selling beer and wine for off-site drinking. But to sell spirits in such a store, employees must be age 18 or older.
Adults may be bartenders. That is, be 18 or older. They may also be servers in venues that sell alcohol for drinking on-site.
No state has minimum age to sell alcohol for off-site drinking. That includes beer, wine, and spirits.
Learn much more about Georgia Alcohol Laws.
The state law requires those selling alcohol at off-site be adults. So the age to sell alcohol is 18 or older. The law makes no distinction between beer, wine, or spirits. In all cases a manager must be present. But there is no minimum age for the manager.
Discover Hawai’ian Alcohol Laws.
Adults age 19 or older may sell beer, wine, and spirits at off-site stores within the state.
They may also legally serve alcohol in venues for on-site drinking. That includes tending bar.
Explore much more at Idaho Alcohol Laws.
State law permits adults of any age to sell alcohol for use off-site. Thus, those age 18 or older may do so. Also, its laws about beer, wine, and spirits are based on alcohol equivalence.
Learn more about Illinois Alcohol Laws.
State alcohol law lets adults age 18 or older be servers or cashiers in venues that sell alcohol. It can be for drinking either on or off-site.
A supervisor must be present. Yet the law does not state any minimum age for the supervisor. Also, the laws make no artificial distinctions among beer, wine and spirits.
Learn more at Indiana Alcohol Laws.
Persons 16 years or older may legally sell beer and wine for drinking elsewhere. But only adults age 18 or older may sell spirits for off-site use.
Adults 18 or older may sell any beverage of 3.2% alcohol or lower by weight (ABW). They do this for off-site use. In reality, that means they may only sell “near-beer” and non-alcoholic beer.
Only liquor stores may sell beverages with over 3.2% ABW. Employees at these stores must be at least 21 years old.
Adults age 18 or older may sell beer in venues for off-site use. Another adult at least 20 years old must supervise them.
But sellers must be at least 20 years old to sell wine or spirits for drinking off-site.
Knowledge is power. Visit Kentucky Alcohol Laws: Not Just about Moonshine.
A Baptist minister first made Bourbon in 1789 in Bourbon County, Kentucky. The beverage took the name of the county.
There are no state age laws for working in stores that sell alcohol to drink off-site. But a supervisor must be present. The alcohol law does not indicate any minimum age for supervisors.
Learn about Louisiana Alcohol Laws: Big Easy to Bayou.
In Maine, state alcohol law is very consistent. People must be 17 or older age to sell alcohol in off-site stores.
Also, those of that age may also serve alcohol for consumption on-site. Finally, they may also tend bar.
In all cases, a supervisor must be present. But the state does not mandate an age minimum for the supervisor.
Maine makes no artificial distinctions between beer, wine and spirits in its age laws.
Why are Maine Alcohol Laws more important than Maine lobster laws?
The state permits adults to sell beer and wine for off-site consumption. Thus, those 18 or older may do so. Yet the law reflects the myth that standard drinks of beer, wine, and spirits have different amounts of pure alcohol. Therefore, the law requires sellers of spirits to be at least 21 years old.
There are many more Maryland Alcohol Laws. Protect yourself by knowing them.
State law permits adults of any age to sell alcohol in stores for use elsewhere. Thus, they must be at least 18. It does not distinguish between forms of alcoholic beverage.
You can learn more about Massachusetts Alcohol Laws.
The Puritans brought more beer than water onboard the Mayflower
State alcohol laws are uniform. Adults age 18 or older may sell alcohol to drink off-premises.
In addition, such adults may sell alcohol for drinking on site. Also, they may be bartenders.
There are many more Michigan Alcohol Laws.
Adults age 18 or older may sell alcohol for drinking elsewhere. They may sell it for drinking on-site. And they may tend bar.
Also, those age 16 or older may serve in venues where 3.2% beer is incidental to food service.
Visit Minnesota Alcohol Laws.
The state requires people to be at least 21 years old to sell or serve any alcohol. Period. Also very consistent.
Check out Mississippi Alcohol Laws.
Adults age 18 and older may also sell any form of alcohol in stores for off-site drinking. A supervisor must be on the premises. But the law does not specify a supervisor’s age requirement.
“Show Me” more Missouri Alcohol Laws.
Adults age 18 or older may sell any alcohol for drinking off-site.
Find out what’s legal and not at Montana Alcohol Laws.
The law of Nebraska is very consistent. It permits adults 19 or older to sell alcohol in off-site stores. They also can tend bar and serve alcohol for on-site drinking.
You may want to know more about Nebraska Alcohol Laws.
In Nevada the lowest age is 16 to sell alcohol for consumption off-site. This includes beer, wine or spirits. A manager or supervisor must be present. Again, the law doesn’t state a minimum age for the manager.
Nevada makes it easy for young people to get work experience.
Don’t gamble on knowing Nevada Alcohol Laws.
The state permits those 16 or older to sell alcohol in a store for off-site use. A manager at least 18 years old must be present.
Do you think New Hampshire Alcohol Laws are granite tough?
The state alcohol laws are consistent. They permit adults 18 or older to sell alcohol in off-site stores. And they may be bartenders. They also may serve it in venue for on-site drinking.
Also, adults 18-20 may own a liquor license. That is, their business may then sell alcohol. Thus, they may own a store or restaurant that sells alcohol. But they may not legally taste what they sell!
Do you know New Jersey Alcohol Laws?
Alcohol laws of the state of New Mexico require people age 21 or older to sell alcohol for off-site drinking.
Find out more about New Mexico Alcohol Laws.
There is no state minimum age for selling beer or wine to drink off-site. But the minimum age for selling spirits in such venues is 18. In all cases, a manager must be present. But the law does not specify a minimum age for managers.
Discover more about the State of New York Alcohol Laws.
State law in North Carolina has no minimum age for selling beer or wine for off-site use. Those who sell spirits must be adults. That is, 18 years or older.
Local alcohol laws in North Carolina are often more restrictive than state law. Some to the point of prohibition.
Explore more at North Carolina Alcohol Laws.
Persons must be at least 21 years old to work in stores selling off-site alcohol.
Find out more about North Dakota Alcohol Laws.
State law for is adulthood for selling alcohol off-site use. That is, age 18 or older.
There are many more Ohio Alcohol Laws.
State law requires people working in a store selling alcohol for use off-site to be at least 21.
Yet alcohol servers in on-site venues need only be adults. That is, age 18 or older.
Some Oklahoma Alcohol Laws often surprise people. Do any surprise you?
The state law permits adults to be cashiers in stores that sell alcohol to drink off-site. So those 18 or older may do so.
You can easily learn about more Oregon Alcohol Laws.
Adults age 18 or older may sell alcohol in a venue to drink elsewhere. People age 17 may also do so if they have graduated high school. In that case, the law considers them to be adults. Or if the head of their school district declares they have reached their academic potential.
Discover more Pennsylvania Alcohol Laws.
State laws permit adults to work in stores that sell alcohol to drink elsewhere. Thus, the lowest age is 18.
Rhode Island Alcohol Laws are numerous.
There is no minimum age for selling beer or wine for off-site use. But it’s 21 for selling spirits in such a store.
You can learn about more South Carolina Alcohol Laws.
There is no state minimum age for selling beer in off-site stores. The age is 21 for selling wine and spirits in such venues. But no supervisor is needed.
If you either live in or visit the state, it’s good to know South Dakota Alcohol Laws.
State law permits adults to sell alcohol in venues for off-site use. Thus, the age is 18 or older. The state makes no artificial distinctions between beer, wine, or spirits.
Tennessee Alcohol Laws aren’t just about Tennessee Whiskey.
Those 16 or older may sell beer and wine in stores selling it for use elsewhere. But they must be age 21 to sell spirits in such places.
You can explore Texas Alcohol Laws. It’s a big state with many laws.
The state of Utah mandates an age to sell alcohol of 21 or older for use elsewhere.
An exception is that people ages 17 through 20 may sell beer in stores for off-site drinking. But a person aged 21 or older must supervise them. And that person must also be on the premises at the time of sales.
If you visit the beautiful state of Utah, you should know Utah Alcohol Laws.
The laws permit those 16 or older to sell alcohol for off-site drinking. They are silent regarding selling spirits. Vermont has a government monopoly over such sales. It sets the age of its employees. Thus, the age can change at any time.
Learn about Vermont Alcohol Laws.
State laws do not have any minimum legal age for selling alcohol in a venue for off-site use. But another employee age 21 or older must be present.
Virginia is for Lovers. You won’t find any laws for lovers here. But this is the place if you’re interested in Virginia Alcohol Laws.
Laws of the State permit adults to sell alcohol in stores for use off-site. Thus, the minimum age is 18.
Find more State of Washington Alcohol Laws.
State alcohol laws are simple about age. Adults of any age may sell any alcohol for either on or off-site use. They may also tend bar. So people 18 or older may do those jobs.
Those age 16 or 17 may also work in venues that sell alcohol. But they may not sell or serve either alcohol or low proof beer.
If you visit the state, it’s a good idea to know West Virginia Alcohol Laws.
Adults may sell alcohol in stores for off-site use. They may also be servers or bartenders in any venue that sells alcohol for drinking on-site. Thus, the minimum age is 18.
Wisconsin Alcohol Laws are numerous. Learn them to avoid problems.
Washington, DC (see District of Columbia)
State alcohol laws in Wyoming require those who sell alcohol for off-site use to be 21 or older.
Note that Wyoming counties and cities can increase the above age. So it’s important to check locally.
If you visit the state be sure to know Wyoming Alcohol Laws.
Minimum Age to Sell Alcohol at Off-Premises Stores
Readings: Age to Sell Alcohol
- Div. Liq. Cont. Safe Alcohol Sales Training. Reynoldsburg,
- DOJ. Guide to Responsible Alcohol Sale. Off-Premises Clerk, Licensee, and Manager Training.
- EEOC. Employee Rights.
- OSHA. Employer Rights and Responsibilities.
- Sack, S. The Employee Rights Handbook.
- Do not rely on this site for legal facts. Laws change. Also, courts often reinterpret them. A town may have its own higher age to sell alcohol in off-premises stores. This site doesn’t give legal advice. Please see a lawyer with questions.