How old must a server / clerk be to serve / sell alcoholic beverages?


The minimum age required to serve alcohol depends upon what type of establishment they are serving in.  If the server is serving in a space which is primarily for serving food, then anyone 18 and up can serve alcohol in that space.  If, however, the space is primarily for serving alcohol, then any servers of alcohol must be 21 or over.  If alcohol is only being sold to be consumed off-site, then a person under the age of 18 must be supervised by someone 21 or older to legally conduct the sale.  Anyone 18 or older may sell alcohol which is to be consumed off-site without supervision.

This means that a single establishment may have two different minimum ages for their alcohol servers.  For instance, if the establishment has a dining room and a room which is a bar, the two rooms will likely have two different primary functions, and therefore, minimum ages for their alcohol servers.  The dining room’s primary function will likely be to serve food, meaning that anyone 18 and over can serve alcohol.  The bar, which will likely have the primary function of serving alcohol, will then require someone 21 or older to serve alcohol.

It is important to note that people under 21 can NEVER act as a bartender.



About William Adams

Attorney at Norton, Moore, & Adams, LLP.
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