Underage Drinking

Minimum Ages for On-Premises Servers and Bartenders

Laws that specify a minimum age for employees who serve or dispense alcoholic beverages in on-premises establishments.

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Viewing Policies as of Date



Search policies as of this date:
Jurisdiction Policies as of Minimum Age To Serve Minimum Age To Bartend Manager or
Must Be
Beer Wine Spirits Beer Wine Spirits
Alabama (3327)
1/1/2021191919212121Yes1 Citations
Alaska (3376)
1/1/2021212121212121 3 Citations
Arizona (3329)
1/1/2021181818181818 3 Citations
Arkansas (3328)
1/1/2021191919212121 7 Citations
California (3330)
1/1/2021181818212121 4 Citations
Colorado (3331)

Persons under 21 years of age employed to sell or dispense malt, vinous, or spirituous liquors are required to be supervised by another person who is on premise and has attained 21 years of age.

1/1/2021181818181818Yes7 Citations
Connecticut (3332)
1/1/2021181818181818 1 Citations
Delaware (4109)
1/1/2021181818212121 5 Citations
District of Columbia (3333)
1/1/2021181818212121 1 Citations
Florida (3335)
1/1/2021181818181818 1 Citations
Georgia (3336)
1/1/2021181818181818 1 Citations
Hawaii (3337)

Liquor can be sold or served by persons 18 to 20 years of age only in licensed establishments where selling or serving the intoxicating liquor is part of the minor's employment, and where there is proper supervision of these minor employees to ensure that the minors shall not consume the intoxicating liquor.

Persons below the age of 18 years may sell or serve liquor in individually specified licensed establishments found to be otherwise suitable by the liquor commission in which an approved program of job training and employment for dining room waiters and waitresses is being conducted in cooperation with the University of Hawaii, the state community college system, or a federally sponsored personnel development and training program, under arrangements that ensure proper control and supervision of employees.

1/1/2021181818181818Yes1 Citations
Idaho (3339)
1/1/2021191919191919 3 Citations
Illinois (3340)
1/1/2021181818181818 3 Citations
Indiana (3341)
1/1/2021191919212121Yes3 Citations
Iowa (3338)
1/1/2021181818181818 1 Citations
Kansas (3342)
1/1/2021181818212121Yes3 Citations
Kentucky (3343)
1/1/2021202020202020 1 Citations
Louisiana (3344)
1/1/2021181818181818 3 Citations
Maine (3347)
1/1/2021171717171717Yes1 Citations
Maryland (3346)

Maryland statutes allow for exceptions by specific localities within Maryland that may have more or less restrictive laws on the age to sell or serve alcoholic beverages. Such "local options" are not addressed by APIS.

1/1/2021181818181821 4 Citations
Massachusetts (3345)
1/1/2021181818181818 1 Citations
Michigan (3348)
1/1/2021181818181818 1 Citations
Minnesota (3349)

Prior to July 1, 2007, minors who had reached the age of 17 could be employed to provide waiter or waitress service in rooms or areas where the presence of 3.2 percent “malt liquor” was incidental to food service or preparation. Minnesota defines “3.2 percent malt liquor” as any beer, ale, or other malt beverage containing not more than 3.2 percent alcohol by weight. Beginning on July 1, 2007, minors who have reached the age of 16 may be so employed.

1/1/2021181818181818 4 Citations
Mississippi (3351)
1/1/2021181818212121 3 Citations
Missouri (3350)
1/1/2021181818212121 1 Citations
Montana (3352)
1/1/2021181818181818 1 Citations
Nebraska (3355)

As of April 19, 2016, employees between 16 and 19 years of age may complete a transaction for the sale of beer, wine, or spirits, but they cannot handle or serve it.

1/1/2021191919191919 1 Citations
Nevada (3359)
1/1/2021212121212121 2 Citations
New Hampshire (3356)
1/1/2021181818181818 1 Citations
New Jersey (3357)
1/1/2021181818181818 2 Citations
New Mexico (3358)
1/1/2021191919212121 2 Citations
New York (3360)
1/1/2021181818181818 1 Citations
North Carolina (3353)

Effective August 18, 2015, the minimum age of 18 does not apply to sale of alcoholic beverages at the point-of-sale for off-premises consumption.

1/1/2021181818181821 2 Citations
North Dakota (3354)

Any person who is eighteen years of age or older but under twenty-one years of age may be employed by the restaurant to serve and collect money for alcoholic beverages, if the person is under the direct supervision of a person twenty-one or more years of age, but may not be engaged in mixing, dispensing, or consuming alcoholic beverages.

1/1/2021181818212121Yes2 Citations
Ohio (3361)

Although employees must be at least 21 years old in order to sell spirits, wine or mixed beverages across a bar, employees of any permit holder may sell beer across a bar if they are at least 19 years old.

1/1/2021191919192121 3 Citations
Oklahoma (3362)
1/1/2021181818212121 5 Citations
Oregon (3363)
1/1/2021181818181818 2 Citations
Pennsylvania (3364)

In Pennsylvania, a minor who is 17 years of age who is a high school graduate or who is declared to have attained his or her academic potential by the chief administrator of his or her school district is deemed to be a minor of 18 years of age for purposes of the laws relating to the employment of minors by retail licensees.

1/1/2021181818181818 4 Citations
Rhode Island (3365)
1/1/2021181818181818 2 Citations
South Carolina (3366)
1/1/2021181818212121 5 Citations
South Dakota (4126)
1/1/2021181818212121 4 Citations
Tennessee (3368)
1/1/2021181818181818 5 Citations
Texas (3369)

Effective May 19, 2015, on-premises licenses that derive less than 50 percent of their gross receipts from alcoholic beverage sales may employ a person under 18 years of age as a cashier for transactions involving the sale of alcoholic beverages if the beverages are served by a person 18 years of age or older.

1/1/2021181818181818 2 Citations
Utah (3370)
1/1/2021212121212121 5 Citations
Vermont (3372)
1/1/2021181818181818 4 Citations
Virginia (3371)

Although bartenders are generally required to be at least 21 years old in Virginia, a person who is at least 18 years of age may sell or serve beer for on-premises consumption at a counter in an establishment that sells beer only. Effective March 4th, 2009, a person who is at least 18 years of age may also sell or serve wine for on-premises consumption in an establishment that sells wine only.

1/1/2021181818212121 3 Citations
Washington (3373)
1/1/2021181818212121Yes5 Citations
West Virginia (3374)
1/1/2021181818181818Yes3 Citations
Wisconsin (3377)

No person, including a member of the licensee's or permittee's immediate family, other than the licensee, permittee or agent may serve fermented malt or alcohol beverages in any place operated under a Class "A," "Class A," Class "B," "Class B," or "Class C" license or permit unless he or she has an operator's license or is at least 18 years of age and is under the immediate supervision of the licensee, permittee, agent or a person holding an operator's license, who is on the premises at the time of the service. Thus, if an 18-year-old held an operator's license, he or she would not require immediate supervision by a manager or supervisor.

1/1/2021181818181818 7 Citations
Wyoming (3375)
1/1/2021181818212121 2 Citations
United States (3326)

Please see the Federal Law page for this policy topic, on the About This Policy tab.