New York Alcohol Laws

What is the legal drinking age in New York?

The legal age to consume alcoholic beverages is 21.

What is the legal age to pour/sell/serve alcohol in New York?

The legal age to sell packaged liquor, pour alcohol or serve alcohol to customers is 18.

How late can you buy alcohol in New York?

Restaurants, bars or other businesses who sell for on-premise consumption cannot serve:

Between 4:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
Before 12:00 p.m. noon on Sundays

Liquor stores, supermarkets and other businesses who sell for off-premise consumption cannot sell:

Between midnight and 8:00 a.m.
Before 12:00 p.m. noon and after 9:00 p.m. on Sundays
On Christmas Day (December 25)

Each county, however, can set their own “last call” hour at an earlier time and may have other restrictions. To view the specific closing hours for your county, check the New York State Liquor Authority website.

Are there any dry counties in New York?

New York does not have any dry counties (as they are not able to make that decision). However, individual cities and towns are permitted to become totally dry, by forbidding any on- or off-premise alcohol sales, or partially dry by forbidding one or the other or by prohibiting only beer, wine or spirits. Currently there are a very limited number of dry towns in the state, most of which are rural areas in upstate New York.

What is the DUI limit in New York?

The DUI limit is .08 BAC for consumers 21 and older. .02 is considered a DUI/DWI limit for under age drivers.

Does New York regulate the maximum alcohol per drink?

Maximum alcohol per drink is not regulated in the state of New York.

What is the maximum number of drinks you can order at one time in New York?

New York does not regulate a maximum number of drinks at one time, but vendors may have their own discretionary rules.

What are New York's public intoxication laws?

New York State has no law against being intoxicated from alcohol in public, but drinking in public, bothering others or damaging property are all illegal.

Is it legal to have an open container of alcohol in New York?

It is illegal to have an open container of alcohol on any public sidewalk, road or park in New York.

Is responsible alcohol training mandatory in New York?

While alcohol training is not currently mandatory by state law, it is highly recommended and is required by many employers, as it can greatly reduce liquor liability insurance.

Is it legal to confiscate identification cards in New York?

No. New York state liquor licensees are not authorized to confiscate IDs they recognize as false. Licensees should notify the police or local law enforcement officials and refuse the sale of alcohol.

Can you bring wine into a restaurant that is not licensed for liquor?

Customers can (with the permission of the restaurant) bring their own wine only to restaurants with fewer than 20 seats or restaurants with liquor licenses. Restaurants with more than 20 seats must have a license or permit to sell or serve beer, wine or liquor to the public in order to allow customers to bring their own wine. A customer can bring his or her own wine into only licensed restaurants with the approval of the restaurant.

Can customers bring home a bottle of wine from a restaurant?

New York state liquor laws allow for the removal of one partially consumed bottle of wine if the restaurant has the appropriate wine or liquor license, the bottle is purchased in connection with a full course meal, the patron consumes a portion of wine with the meal, the wine is securely resealed, placed in a one-time-use tamper-proof transparent bag, and a dated receipt for the full course meal and wine is provided to the patron.

New York Employee Age Liquor Laws

The general rule in New York is that any employee who sells or handles alcoholic beverages must be at least 18 years of age. However, off-premise beer licensees (such as liquor stores, grocery stores or other vendors who sell alcohol for consumption off-site) may employ a person under 18 as a cashier (or to stock or handle deliveries or containers) as long as they are directly supervised and in the presence of a person 18 years old or older.

NY State Liquor Authority Acceptable Forms of Identification

Valid driver's license or non-driver identification card issued by the commissioner of motor vehicles, federal government, any United States territory, commonwealth or possession, the District of Columbia, a state government within the United States or a provincial government of the dominion of Canada.

Valid passport issued by the United States government or any other country.

An identification card issued by the armed forces of the United States.

College identification cards, employee identification cards or any other form of ID not listed above can be accepted as a secondary means to verify identity but can NOT be accepted as a primary proof of age.

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On-Premise Off-Premise

Who Should Take an ATAP Course?

Any employee who sells, serves, dispenses or delivers alcoholic beverages can benefit from the Alcohol Training Awareness Program, including waiters and servers, bartenders and bar backs, cashiers and store owners.

Employers requiring ATAP training for their employees can save money with bulk rate and corporate discounts!

» Bulk Discounts

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American Safety Council