Wyoming Alcohol Laws: Learn Them to Avoid Problems

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. Alcohol Minimum Ages

             Overview
I.   Minimum Age
II.  Alcohol Violations
III. Resources
IV.  Seek Good Advice

Young people in Wyoming often want to work in the hospitality industry. 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 consumption off-premises?

Wyoming alcohol laws permit adults to serve alcohol in venues for consumption 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.

wyoming alcohol lawsPersons of any age under 21 may legally drink alcohol if a member of the “immediate family” is present. They may do so in both private and public locations.

Many parents do this to demyswtefy 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 stings.

Use of a false ID to obtain alcohol by anyone under 21 is a criminal offense.

It is also illegal for anyone of under 21 to drive with a BAC higher than 0.02.

II. Alcohol Violations

Selling Alcohol

wyoming alcohol lawsWyoming is an alcohol monopoly state for selling wine and spitits for consumpion off-premises.

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. However, municipalities can be more restrictive. Especially 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.

Buying Alcohol

wyoming alcohol lawsIt’s illegal for anyone under age 21 to buy, or attempt to buy, alcohol. However, they may do so to help law enforcement 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.

Driving and Alcohol

Wyoming alcohol laws prohibit driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08. For those under 21, it’s 0.02 or higher.

The exact penalties depend on the circumstances and the judge hearing the case

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. In addition, the judge can order the installation of an ignition interlock on the offender’s car. 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. However, there’s no law against open containers that are not in a vehicle. That is, elsewhere.

Driver Rights

All drivers have a U.S. Constitutional right to decline submitting to a chemical test. However, the state punishes drivers who use their right. The penalty for refusing to submit can include driver license suspension for up to one year.

wyoming alcohol lawsHowever, there is no punishment for not submitting to a field sobriety test. These are notoriously subjective and highly inaccuragte. For example, about one-third of completely sober people pass a field sobriety test. That, about one of every three people with a zero BAC (0.00) pass.

Not surprisingly, lawyers strongly urge drivers to politel decline to take field sobriety tests. Officers learn convincing ways to get drivers to take them. They a often falsely say that the law requires it. That’s simply untrue. No law requires it.

Sometimes they say you can prove you’re not impaired by passing the test. That’s false. Officers don’t consider passing a field sobriety test to prove innocence. Lawyers say to politely refuse. Repeatedly if necessary.

Learn much more at Never Take a Field Sobriety Test Say DUI Lawyers.

Boating

wyoming alcohol lawsWyoming 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.

Boaters convicted of BUI  may be fined up to $750.00 and/or imprisoned for up to six months. Their boating license may also be suspended for up to two years.

III. Resources on Wyoming Alcohol Laws

Wyoming alcohol lawsWyoming State Code
Administrative Rules and Regulations
Legislative Information
Supreme Court Opinions
Liquor Division
Wyoming State Bar

IV. Get Good Advice

Get Reliable Information 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. Don’t rely on the information on this site. Or on any other site. The stakes are too high.

wyoming alcohol lawsGet information and advice about Wyoming alcohol laws from an expert. That’s a lawyer holding a license to practice in the state.

Alcohol attitudes and practices vary across the state. Therefore, it’s wise to select a lawyer very familiar with the locale in question.