This page will help you understand Wyoming alcohol laws and avoid expensive fines or even jail. Not to mention time and embarrassment.
Wyoming alcohol laws apply both to residents and visitors. It’s easy to forget that Wyoming’s alcohol laws may be different than those in some other states. But ignorance of this fact carries no weight in court.
I. Minimum Age
II. More Alcohol Laws
IV. Legal Advice
I. Alcohol Minimum Ages
Young people in Wyoming often want to work in hospitality. They want to know the ages needed for jobs working around alcohol. How young can a server be in a restaurant selling alcohol for drinking on-site?
Does a person have to be older to tend bar? What about for working in a store selling alcohol for drinking off-premises?
Wyoming alcohol laws permit adults to serve alcohol in venues for drinking there. That is, the minimum age is 18. For tending bar and selling alcohol in venues for off-premises locations, the age is 21.
Note that Wyoming counties and cities can modify the above ages and restrictions. So it’s important to check locally.
Persons of any age under 21 may legally drink alcohol if a member of the “immediate family” is present. In addition, they may do so in both private and public locations.
Many parents do this to demystefy alcohol and promote moderation. They believe it’s better for youth to learn in the parents’ house than in a fraternity house.
Those under 21 may not buy alcohol under Wyoming alcohol laws. But they may buy it for police entrapment.
Use of a false ID to obtain alcohol by anyone under 21 is a crime.
It is also illegal for anyone of under 21 to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) higher than 0.02%.
How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Body?
(In)Accuracy of Breathalyzers.
14 Tips to Avoid a DWI or DUI Conviction.
II. More Wyoming Alcohol Laws
A. Selling Alcohol
Wyoming has a government alcohol monopoly over selling wine and spirits for use off-premises. That means poorer selection and higher prices.
Package stores, bars, and restaurants can sell or serve alcohol any day of the week. And they can do so between 6:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. That’s state law. But towns can be more restrictive. They often are for Sunday sales.
It’s a violation of Wyoming Alcohol laws to sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. That includes adults under that age.
B. Buying Alcohol
It’s illegal for anyone under age 21 to buy, or attempt to buy, alcohol. But they may do so to help police entrap sellers.
Parents may buy alcohol in restaurants, bars and other places serving alcohol for their offspring to drink with them.
It’s also legal in Wyoming to remove a partially consumed bottle of wine from a restaurant, bar, etc. This law helps prevent over-consumption so as not to “waste” the wine. Thus, it promotes traffic safety.
The penalty for destroying the label on a beer keg is a fine of up to $500.
C. Driving and Alcohol
Wyoming alcohol laws prohibit driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. For those under 21, it’s 0.02% or higher.
The exact penalties depend on the circumstances and the judge involved.
The penalty for a first DUI conviction can be driver license suspension for 90 days. For a second, it can be one year. And for a third, three years.
With a third conviction, the driver must take an alcohol abuse course. The judge can also require alcohol assessment and treatment. The judge can order an ignition interlock on the offender’s car. Also the offender must pay for this expensive device.
Wyoming alcohol laws do not increase penalties for driving with BAC levels far above the maximum legal limit.
The state prohibits possession of an open alcohol container by anyone of any age in a motor vehicle. But there’s no law against open containers that are not in a vehicle. That is, elsewhere. For example, in a park, sidewalk, etc.
All drivers have a U.S. Constitutional right to decline a breath tester test. But the state punishes drivers who use their right. The penalty for refusing can include driver license suspension for up to one year.
On the other hand, there is no legal punishment for not taking a field sobriety test. That’s good because are highly subjective and inaccurate. For example, about one-third of completely sober people fail to pass a field sobriety test. That is, about one of every three people with a zero BAC (0.00%) fail it! And they fail it under ideal conditions indoors.
For that reason, lawyers strongly urge drivers never, ever take a field sobriety test. They say to politely decline. And to do so as often as necessary.
But that may take strong willpower. That’s because police have clever ways to get drivers to take them. They often falsely say that the law requires it. That’s simply untrue. In fact, no law in any U.S. state requires it.
Sometimes police say you can prove you’re not impaired by passing the test. But you don’t need to prove your innocence. To the contrary, the state must prove that you’re guilty! In addition, police don’t consider passing a field sobriety test to prove innocence!
While investigating, police can legally lie to you. No matter what they say, they’re looking for evidence to arrest you. In reality, they’re opponents at that point. So don’ be a sucker.
Learn much more at Never Take a Field Sobriety Test Say DUI Lawyers.
Wyoming alcohol laws prohibit boating under the influence (BUI). The influence can be from alcohol and/or drugs.
Boaters are intoxicated if their BAC is 0.10 or higher within three hours after operating a vessel. Or if alcohol and/or drugs make them unable to operate a watercraft safely.
The state punishes boaters guilty of BUI. It does so by fining them up to $750.00 and/or jailing them for up to six months. It may also suspend their boating license for up to two years.
III. Resources on Wyoming Alcohol Laws
• Wyoming State Code
• Administrative Rules and Regulations
• Legislative Information
• Supreme Court Opinions
• Liquor Division
• Wyoming State Bar
IV. Legal Advice
Get reliable facts on Wyoming Alcohol Laws. Wyoming’s alcohol laws can sometimes be unclear. Exactly who is an “immediate family” member? Must an immediate family member be at least 21 to give alcohol to another family member under 21? Such things can make all the difference in the world. “The devil is in the details.”
It’s easy to make a mistake. And that could cause big problems. So don’t rely on the facts on this site. Nor on any other site. The stakes are too high.
Get facts and advice about Wyoming alcohol laws from an expert. That is a lawyer holding a license to practice in the state.
Alcohol practices vary across the state. So it’s wise to select a lawyer very familiar with the locale in question.
At this point you know more about Wyoming Alcohol laws than most residents of the state. Kudos!