50 Weird Drinking Laws

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 Whether you are interested in alcohol related legislature, looking for some fun beer themed trivia facts, or just bored and browsing our beer blog, here are 50 weird drinking laws, one from every state*.


Weird Drinking Law #1: Alabama

Look all you want, but you won’t find any 40s for sale in The Heart of Dixie. The current maximum (legal) size of beer bottle in Alabama is 750 milliliters. This weird drinking law is actually an improvement; as recently as 2012, Alabama beer bottles were limited to 16 ounces. And the bottles better be appropriate! Labels that depict “a person posed in an immoral or sensuous manner” are strictly prohibited.


Weird Drinking Law #2: Alaska

Looking forward to spending a while at the bar with your buddies? Keep an eye on your BAC while you watch the big game because, thanks to a weird drinking law in The Last Frontier, it is illegal to be drunk in a bar. They mean it too; Alaska law limits the maximum amount of beer a business is allowed to sell to an individual to 36 ounces of beer per day. 


Weird Drinking Law #3: Arizona

When it comes to weird drinking laws in the United States, Arizona is slightly more lenient than Alaska. If you find yourself intoxicated in a bar or restaurant in The Grand Canyon State, you are permitted to stay for half an hour: just long enough for someone to pick you up and drive you home. 


Weird Drinking Law #4: Arkansas

Thanks to a weird drinking law in Arkansas, legal adults could face additional “homework”. In The Natural State, if you are between the ages of 18-21 and are caught possessing alcohol you could be court ordered to write “themes or essays on intoxicating liquors, wine, or beer” in addition to other, more traditional, punishments.


Weird Drinking Law #5: California

If you’re looking for a venue with a good Ladies Night discount, you’ll have to look outside of The Golden State, as they are considered violations of the Unruh Act, as well as the Gender Tax Repeal Act. However, unlike some states, you can purchase alcohol and gasoline at the same location, as long as the location meets certain requirements including but not limited to not having alcohol on display “within five feet of the cash register or the front door unless it is in a permanently affixed cooler”, and not selling or displaying beer and/or wine from/in ice tubs. 


Weird Drinking Law #6: Colorado

In the Centennial State, size matters and has lead to what can appear to be weird drinking laws. After all, Colorado state law dictates that “vinous liquors” (aka wine) and “spirituous liquors” with at least 14% ABV be sold in containers larger than 12 ounces, while any flat or flask shaped containers are required to be 24 ounces or larger. That is, unless it they are being sold in a mini-bar. In that case, containers of “malt, vinous, or spirituous liquor” are limited to 500 milliliters. 


Weird Drinking Law #7: Connecticut 

They take their government seriously in the Constitution State. Or at least they did until 2002; prior to that, it was illegal to sell liquor inside a city hall. Conveniently, there was also a law prohibiting town records from being stored where alcohol was sold. I wonder what happened in 2002 to make them repeal these weird drinking laws!


Weird Drinking Law #8: Delaware

If you’re in the First State and are hoping to have alcohol at your holiday event, make sure it is at the top of your list; you won’t be able to run out and grab it that morning! Thanks to a weird drinking law from Delaware, stores cannot sell and/or deliver alcohol on Thanksgiving, Easter, or Christmas. 


Weird Drinking Law #9: Florida

What do Florida and Goldilocks have in common (besides the intrepidity to casually enter the homes of wild animals)? They both require things to be just the right size. According to this (recently repealed) weird drinking law in the Sunshine State, beer can only be sold in containers of 32 ounces or smaller, or containers of 128 ounces or larger. Sorry growler lovers, try the next state over. Or just grab two howlers, two crowlers, or a howler and a crowler. That’s totally cool. 


Weird Drinking Law #10: Georgia

There is no shortage of weird drinking laws in the Peach State. In Georgia, various alcohol laws include prohibiting 2-for-one specials, allowing alcohol sales on election days (as long as they take place at least 250 feet from a polling location), and banning sales of alcohol at adult bookstores.


Weird Drinking Law #11: Hawaii

Make sure to brush up on local alcohol laws before you start drinking in the Aloha State! Hawaii  has no shortage of strange laws, including one prohibiting putting coins in ones ears. There are also multiple laws prohibiting drinking alcohol on beaches in Hawaii, while drinking just offshore on a booze cruise is totally legal. How’s that for a weird drinking law?


Weird Drinking Law #12: Idaho

Looking forward to having some drinks and dancing to Rhianna in the Gem State? I hope your drink of choice is either served in and/or poured straight from a bottle because, according to Alcohol Beverage Control “the infusion of liquor is not allowed”. 


Weird Drinking Law #13: Illinois

Be careful trying to take that H2O to go in the Prairie State; a weird Illinois drinking law makes it illegal to order a bottle of water from a bar and leave with it. 


Weird Drinking Law #14: Indiana

If you’re looking to pick up a can of cold beer to crack open at home in the Hoosier state, don’t waste your time checking the coolers at the grocery store. Thanks to some of Indiana’s weird drinking laws, convenience stores, grocery stores, and pharmacies are only allowed to sell warm beer. If you want cold beer, you’ll have to visit your local liquor store. 


Weird Drinking Law #15: Iowa

The Hawkeye State feels so passionately about the size of boxes used to pack hops that they wrote a law about it. According to Iowa Code 210.14, standard hop packing boxes “shall be 36 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 23.25 inches deep [using a] inside measurement”.  (This may not exactly be considered one of the weird drinking laws, but it is definitely a strange law involving alcohol!)


Weird Drinking Law #16: Kansas

The Sunflower State is one of two “dry by default” states (the other being Tennessee), which makes this weird alcohol law even more bizarre. Under Kansas law, if food makes up at least 30% of sales, retailer are required to sell alcohol on Sundays. 


Weird Drinking Law #17: Kentucky

If waiting for election results has you reaching for a bottle in the Bluegrass State, make sure you prepare ahead of time. Thanks to some weird drinking laws in Kentucky, alcoholic beverages can’t be purchased during primary or general elections. 


Weird Drinking Law #18: Louisiana

The Pelican State may have been the state behind the drive-thru daiquiri, but that doesn’t stop them from having some weird drinking laws. For example, in New Orleans, members of the city commission are forbidden from drinking during public meetings, at the risk of incurring a $50 fine. 


Weird Drinking Law #19: Maine

If you’re looking to grab a beer on an early Sunday morning, you’ll have to look outside the Pine Tree State. Alcohol can’t be purchased until after 9 am in Maine. Unless it is St. Patrick’s Day, in which sales begin at 6 am. No matter what time of day it is you won’t find any beer pong though; drinking games are not allowed in bars and/or restaurants. 


Weird Drinking Law #20: Maryland

Want to treat your lovely lady bartender to a drink in the Old Line State? Too bad! According to some weird drinking laws in Maryland, it is illegal for a man to buy a drink for a female bartender. 


Weird Drinking Law #21: Massachusetts

Feeling inflation pains and looking for a get a deal on some drinks? You won’t find them in the Bay State! Thanks to some weird drinking laws in Massachusetts, happy hour(s), bottomless brunches, and drinks on the house are prohibited. 


Weird Drinking Law #22: Michigan

When you’re planning your ride home after getting sloshed in the Great Lakes State, don’t count on riding the rails. Weird drinking laws in Michigan make it illegal to be drunk on a train, even as a passenger. As long as you are “in an offensive state of intoxication”, you are forbidden from entering or riding “any railway train or interurban car as a passenger”. 


Weird Drinking Law #23: Minnesota

It’s no secret that the Land of 10,000 Lakes has a history of weird drinking laws. Our (not-so) favorite? Prohibiting breweries from selling 12 oz or 16 oz cans out of their taprooms. Some Minnesota craft breweries are also forbidden from selling growlers as well. 


Weird Drinking Law #24: Mississippi

Given the Magnolia State’s initial resistance to alcohol, this weird drinking law is surprising! Well, lack of drinking law; unlike other states, Mississippi doesn’t have laws against drinking and driving, or law against open containers. The only requirement? Keeping your BAC below the .08 legal limit. 

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. For the safety of yourself and others, do not drink and drive.


Weird Drinking Law #25: Missouri

Did you really think that the Show Me State wouldn’t be bold about its stance on underage drinking? Though this weird alcohol law isn’t necessarily enforced, in Missouri it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to take out the trash if it contains any alcohol bottles. Yes, even empty ones. 


Weird Drinking Law #26: Montana

If the riches that you seek in the Treasure State contain an ABV, make sure you are familiar with the alcohol laws of big sky country! Thanks to some weird Montana drinking laws, grocery stores and convenience stores can only sell beer and/or wine with less than 16% ABV. However, patrons are allowed to purchase alcohol to go in Montana, as long as certain restrictions are met (mostly regarding packaging). 


Weird Drinking Law #27: Nebraska

In terms of weird drinking laws, the Cornhusker State is downright reasonable. You may find it soothing to know that, thanks to some weird drinking laws, in Nebraska it is illegal to fly a plane with a BAC of .05. Yes, that is stricter than the .08 BAC limit for DUI, which makes sense to us. (We think.) Maybe just call a rideshare? 


Weird Drinking Law #28: Nevada

Considering that it is home to Sin City, where being drunk in public is not a crime and alcohol is available for purchase 24/7, it isn’t surprising that the Silver State has some weird drinking laws. For example, in Las Vegas, Nevada, you can purchase alcohol in an open container and wander the strip to your hearts content. However, if you were to purchase a closed container of alcohol, it would be a crime to consume it within 1,000 feet of the store where it was purchased. 


Weird Drinking Law #29: New Hampshire

The Granite State is stone cold when it comes to alcohol laws. In New Hampshire, weird drinking laws strictly prohibit anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol at any time, regardless of reason (yes, including religious reasons). However, another New Hampshire drinking law states that individuals under the age of 21 are prohibited from driving with a BAC greater than 0.02. 


Weird Drinking Law #30: New Jersey

If you’re going to drink and drive in the Garden State, you better be ready to part with your vanity. Vanity plate, that is. According to New Jersey law, individuals who have been arrested for drunk driving are not allowed to have personalized license plates. 


Weird Drinking Law #31: New Mexico

Even the Land of Enchantment isn’t immune from weird drinking laws! Thanks to weird drinking laws in New Mexico, liquor and convenience stores are prohibited from selling the individual 3 ounce miniature bottles. Those stores are allowed to sell “party packs” of multiple minis bundled and sold together,  but individual miniatures can only be sold for on-premise consumption at places like golf courses or in hotel minibars. 


Weird Drinking Law #32: New York

If you’re hoping to chase your bite of the big apple with an adult beverage, you may want to brush up on local laws before taking on the Empire State. Although liquor laws in New York allow grocery and/or liquor stores to sell beer around the clock, restaurants and bars are forbidden by state law from selling alcohol from 4 am through 8 am, as well as before noon on Sundays. Out of a 168 hour week, these weird drinking laws in New York leave you with a total of: 32 hours a week where restaurants/bars can’t serve alcohol, 47 hours a week where wine and/or liquor cannot be purchased at retail establishments, and 0 hours a day you can’t go pick up a six pack of craft beer. 


Weird Drinking Law #33: North Carolina

Given their proudly proclaimed nickname of “Tar Heels”, it’s no wonder residents of the Old North State demand to have a say in their weird drinking laws. Due to public pressure and demand, North Carolina recently passed a bill affectionately known as the “Brunch Bill”, which allows restaurant owners to begin serving alcohol at 10 am on Sundays, 2 hours earlier than previously allowed. 


Weird Drinking Law #34: North Dakota

The Peace Garden State has declared war on coupons!…for alcohol. A weird drinking law makes it illegal to use a coupon to purchase alcohol in North Dakota. 


Weird Drinking Law #35: Ohio

Weird drinking laws make sure the (advertising) buck stops in the Buckeye State! According to Ohio Administrative Code 4301:1-44(D)(4) “No advertising shall represent, portray, or make any reference to Santa Claus”.


Weird Drinking Law #36: Oklahoma

If you’re ready to crack open a cold one in the Sooner State, you better plan ahead. Thanks to a weird drinking law, in Oklahoma, any beverages sold for off-premise consumption that are greater than 3.2% alcohol by weight must be sold at room temperature. Yes, this includes beer, wine, seltzers, distilled spirits, liquor, etc. 


Weird Drinking Law #37: Oregon

Going to sip some suds and catch a show in the Beaver State? Make sure there is plenty of seating! Weird drinking laws in Oregon require theaters have a minimum of 300 seats to sell liquor. (No word on how many of them need to be filled)


Weird Drinking Law #38: Pennsylvania

They call it the Keystone State because the state government insists on being the keystone of alcohol sales statewide. Okay that might not be true (it definitely isn’t), but it is true that, in Pennsylvania, bottled wine and liquor is only available for sale from one of the network of more than 600 state-run stores. In addition, beer is not available at these state-run stores or at the grocery store, only beer distributors or beverage outlets. 


Weird Drinking Law #39: Rhode Island

Weird drinking laws are causing a legal storm in the Ocean State. In Rhode Island, strange alcohol laws forbid wine producers from selling the wine they produced at their retail locations. However, a recent exception for Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards has other wineries calling for exemptions of their own, or for a complete repeal of the law. 


Weird Drinking Law #40: South Carolina

Up until 2006, the Palmetto State required that bars serve drinks poured from sealed, 1.7 ounce mini bottles, and that the entire bottle be used. Even now, South Carolina has some weird drinking laws. Since counties can make their own laws, some counties allow beer and wine sales 24/7, while other counties have strict hours where alcohol sales are forbidden. 


Weird Drinking Law #41: South Dakota

The Mount Rushmore State is carving out some weird alcohol laws. In South Dakota, companies cannot donate alcohol to a charitable organization unless the organization obtains a special license, and abides by local general alcoholic beverage laws. 


Weird Drinking Law #42: Tennessee

In 1838, the Volunteer State was the first to pass a Prohibition law, so it’s no surprise that it’s still dry by default. What is a surprise? That their state government is against some of their own weird liquor laws! The Tennessee Attorney General’s office issued an official opinion regarding the constitutionality of certain Alcoholic Beverage Commission rules. His opinion? Certain state rules regarding the advertising of alcohol are violations of the First Amendment. 


Weird Drinking Law #43: Texas

Considering that (currently) 100% of our staff was born, raised, and went to college in the Lone Star State, it is no surprise that we know more about weird drinking laws from Texas. And trust us, there are plenty. For example, in Texas, legal guardians (or 21+ spouses!) are allowed to order alcohol for minors, and dozens of drive-thru daiquiri establishments are doing booming business. However, some counties, including the beautiful and historic Houston Heights are dry. And don’t get New Braunfels’ lawyers started about alcohol on the river!


Weird Drinking Law #44: Utah

To the surprise of no one, the Beehive State consumes the least amount of alcohol per capita, and their weird drinking laws may play a part in that. While grocery and convenient stores in Utah can sell beer with 5% ABV or less, anything stronger must be purchased at state-run liquor stores. Also, in order to have a drink in a restaurant, you must purchase food.


Weird Drinking Law #45: Vermont

When it comes to the Green Mountain State, size matters. Thanks to a combination of weird drinking laws in Vermont, pitchers are limited to 32 ounces, as is the total volume of containers being served. When it comers to spirits, the maximum serving size is 4 oz at a time or in a single drink, with a limit of 2 drinks at once. (Oh and apparently it is also illegal to give beer to hospital patients in Vermont.)


Weird Drinking Law #46: Virginia

Old Dominion has some old fashioned views on drinking vessels. A weird drinking law in Virginia forbids alcohol beverages from being served in “novel or unusual containers”. What exactly is a novel or unusual container? That’s left up to interpretation. 


Weird Drinking Law #47: Washington

The Evergreen State doesn’t take kindly to the abuse of alcohol containers. In Washington, it is illegal to fill or destroy someone’s beer cask, barrel, keg, or bottle without the written consent of the owner. 


Weird Drinking Law #48: West Virginia

The Mountain State has no shortage of weird drinking laws, thanks to the state constitution. According to the State Constitution of West Virginia Article IV, Section 46, “any law authorizing the sale of [intoxicating] liquors shall forbid and penalize the consumption and the sale thereof for consumption in a saloon or other public place”. Luckily for beer lovers in West Virginia, standard beer was redefined as “non-intoxicating beer”, which is not prohibited. Whew! 


Weird Drinking Law #49: Wisconsin

Considering that the Badger State is known for having several of the drunkest cities in America, it’s almost strange that they don’t have more weird drinking laws! What is surprising? Their leniency for drinking and driving. Unlike most states, Wisconsin considers someone’s first Operating While Intoxicated charge as non-criminal, with no jail/prison penalty or interlocking device required if the driver’s BAC is above .15. 


Weird Drinking Law #50: Wyoming

With an official nickname of the Equality State, you’d assume their alcohol laws to be equal, right? Wrong! Thanks to a weird drinking law, in Wyoming, it is technically illegal for a woman to stand within five feet of a bar while she is drinking. But feel free to leave your tape measure at home; this law is unlikely to be enforced.


Do you know anyone who has been arrested for violating a weird drinking law? Tell us about it in the comments!


*Look y’all, we make beer soaps. We are shower beer aficionados, but we aren’t exactly experts in weird drinking laws. Some of these weird drinking laws may no longer apply. We linked proof where we could, but this is not a definitive list by any means.
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You’re interested in a topic related to our soaps! Have you considered checking out our craft beer soaps? Every bar is handmade with responsibly sourced materials and beer from craft breweries across the country.

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