Oklahoma Alcohol Laws: Some May Surprise You!

Oklahoma alcohol laws cover alcoholic beverages in the state. Those laws of most concern to most people involve drinking. Alcohol laws vary from state to state. They even vary within each state. The result is confusion. But breaking one can cause big problems.

I. Minimum Ages for Alcohol

I.   Minimum Ages for Alcohol
II.  Alcohol Violations
III. Resources
IV.  Seek Good Advice

Young people may seek part-time jobs. Hospitality has many. Youths may want to know the age needed for them. Many involve alcohol.

At what age can they be servers in venues selling alcohol? What about selling alcohol for drinking off-site? And is what is the age for tending bar?

Oklahoma alcohol laws require that servers in venues selling alcohol be adults. That is, they must be at least 18. They must be at least 21 to tend bar or to work in a store selling alcohol for drinking off-site.

No state law prohibits all drinking by those of any age under 21. They may drink  3.2 percent beer. But they must be with a parent or guardian.

Those under 21 may also buy such beverages under the supervision of a parent or guardian.  But they may not drink them on the premises of a retailers.

It is a criminal act to use a false ID to buy alcohol. A conviction can lead to driver’s license suspension.

It is illegal for those under 21 to drive with alcohol in the body. That is, their BAC must be no higher than 0.00.

II. Alcohol Violations

Selling Alcohol

It’s a violation of Oklahoma alcohol laws to sell alcohol to anyone under age 21. That includes adults under 21.

Grocery and convenience stores can sell only low-point beer or “near beer.” That’s beer between 0.5% and 3.2% alcohol by weight. But they can’t sell it between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Beverages over 3.2% alcohol by weight sold anywhere must be sold at room temperature. That includes high point beer, wine and spirits.

It’s illegal to sell alcohol for consumption off-premises on certain days. These include Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sale is acceptable on election day. Effective Oct, 1, 2018, alcohol may be sold on Sundays if voters in a county approve.

Liquor stores can only sell alcohol between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. Effective on the above date, alcohol sales may begin at 8 a.m.

Purchasing Alcohol

It’s illegal for anyone under to buy alcohol or to attempt to buy it. Doing so is a misdemeanor.

Property owners may not permit anyone under 21 to drink on their property. The punishment for doing so is a fine and imprisonment for up to five years.

Oklahoma alcohol laws prohibit drinking alcohol in public. It’s also illegal to be intoxicated in public. The penalty for either is a fine and jail for five to 30 days.


oklahoma alcohol lawsOklahoma alcohol laws prohibit driving under the influence (DUI). That is, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. Also, driving impaired with a BAC below is illegal.

For drivers over age of 21. These rules apply to drivers age 21 or older.
• Blood alcohol between 0.001 and 0.05 is not intoxication.
• A BAC between 0.051 and 0.079 is impairment. However, more evidence is needed for conviction.
• Blood alcohol of 0.08 or higher is proof of intoxication.

Many alcoholics have developed such a high level of alcohol tolerance that they are not impaired at 0.08. Nevertheless, evidence of non-impairment can’t be presented in court.


The penalties for DUI depend on circumstances, including the judge who happens to hear the case. Thus, some of the penalties can vary greatly depending on luck. No one wants a Judge Judy to hear their case.

oklahoma alcohol lawsA first DUI conviction is penalized with imprisonment for ten days to one year. The driver’s license must be revoked for 180 days. And the fine is up to $1,000.

A second offense within ten years of the first increases the penalties. Imprisonment is from one to five years. If there was a revocation for DUI within the past five years, it’s now for one year.

After the revocation expires, the driver must have an ignition interlock device on the vehicle. The engine won’t start if there is any alcohol in the driver’s breath. The device must remain for six months to three years.

The penalties increase for a third or more convictions. Imprisonment is from one to ten years. If there were two or more revocations for DUI in the past five years, it’s increased to three years.

The fine is up to $5,000. In addition, an ignition interlock device is required for up to three years after the revocation expires.

Drivers Under 21

oklahoma alcohol lawsFor drivers under 21, including adults, Oklahoma has a zero tolerance alcohol policy. Any detectible alcohol leads to driver’s license revocation

A first conviction is penalized with a six-month license revocation. Also, a $100-$500 fine and/or community service, and/or a treatment program.

A second conviction leads to a one-year license revocation. The fine is $100-$1,000 and/or community service, and/or a treatment program.

Drivers Under 18

Oklahoma drinking laws are different for those under 18 convicted of alcohol-related traffic violations. This extends to non-drivers as well. The penalties include license suspension for six months to two years.


It’s illegal to have an open alcohol container in anywhere in a vehicle accessible to the driver. Things in the trunk or behind the back seat are not accesible to a driver.

Drivers of any age have a U.S. Constitutional right to decline any law officer request to take a BAC test. However, the state punishes anyone using that right. The license is automatically revocation for the same period that it would be if the driver were convicted.

Punishment does not apply for refusing to take a field sobriety test. No state requires it, although officers often try to intimidate drivers into taking it. The test is highly subjective and unreliable. Unfortunately, about one-third of peuple with a 0.00 BAC fail it.

Lawyers strongly urge their clients not to take a field sobriety test. Politely but repeteadly refuse. Learn more at Never Take a Field Sobriety Test Say DUI Lawyers.


oklahoma alcohol lawsOklahoma alcohol laws prohibit operating a vessel while under the influence. People are guilty of being under the influence if they

Have a BAC of 0.08 or higher.


Are under the influence of any other intoxicating substance making them incapable of safely operating a vessel.


Are under the influence of alcohol and any other intoxicating substance making them incapable of safely operating a vessel.

The penalty for a first offense is a fine of up to $1,000. for operating a vessel under the influence. Any later convictions result in a fine of $1,000 to $2,500.

Declining to submit to a BAC test can be used against the operator in court.

III. Resources on Oklahoma Alcohol Laws

State Code

Oklahoma alcohol lawsLegislative Information

Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Opinions

Attorney General Opinions

Alcoholic Beverage Administrative Code

Oklahoma Bar Association

IV. Seek Good Advice

Oklahoma alcohol laws can be hard to understand. The same is true in other states.  The laws change. Their interpretation changes. They often conflict. Lawyers spend years learning law. Do not rely on this site. Or on any other site.

Get information and advice about Oklahoma alcohol laws from an expert. That’s a lawyer who holds a licensed in the state. Trust no other. Laws and attitudes vary widely across the state. Therefore, it’s a good idea to select one in your county.

oklahoma alcohol laws

The state has three alcohol enforcement districts which the dark lines indicate.