Skip to Content

What States Can You Drink While Bartending in 2023?

In the United States, bartending laws vary from one state to another, and these will most often encompass regulations on licensing, serving hours, age limits, and serving alcohol to intoxicated customers.

This is because states reserve the legal authority to establish their own laws enabling or restricting employees from having a drink at work. In addition, local municipalities are permitted to put in place their own laws prohibiting drinking while working.

Even when both state and local laws grant bartenders the privilege of having a drink at work, bars, restaurants, or any establishments that serve alcohol also have the right to put in place their own rules.

Recommended:  How to Get a Bartending License in 2023 [State By State Requirements]

Owing to that, even if a state or city allows bartenders to drink on the job, the owner of that bar or restaurant can ban employees from drinking on the property altogether, not only while they’re working.

Although drinking while working might prove to be a perk of the job, it’s pertinent to understand that there can be grave repercussions. Aside from the fact that alcohol can affect your judgment and cause errors, you have to realize that it also has the potential to jeopardize your career and work.

States Where Bartenders Drink on the Job

Certain states in the country have very clear statutes or exceptions for bartenders to drink alcohol while working. These states include;

In the Pelican State, bartenders have the right to drink or consume alcohol while on the job. In Louisiana, this privilege can be attributed to the state’s historical and cultural ties to the hospitality industry.

  • Nevada

If you are looking for another state where bartenders are allowed to legally drink on the job, then this is where you should be looking. Howbeit, it is important to reiterate that this is typically limited to establishments that hold a specific type of liquor license.

  • Wisconsin

Bartenders in Wisconsin have for long been permitted to drink alcohol while working. Howbeit, note that this practice will depend on local ordinances and workplace policies.

Recommended:  How Many Bartenders Do You Need for 150 Guests in 2023?

States That Prohibit Drinking on the Job

Below are a few examples of states where drinking on the job is generally prohibited:

  • California

In the Golden State, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act outrightly bans the consumption of alcoholic beverages while on duty in a place where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises.

  • New York

In New York, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law also restricts the drinking of alcoholic beverages by any employee in a workplace legally permitted to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption.

  • Texas

In addition, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code also frowns on the drinking of alcoholic beverages by workers during work hours in establishments licensed to sell alcohol.

  • Florida

In the Sunshine, it is considered against the law to drink just about any alcoholic beverages during work hours if you are an employee in an establishment with a license to sell alcoholic beverages.

  • Illinois

This is another well-known state, where its Liquor Control Act of 1934 bans employees of licensed establishments from drinking alcoholic beverages while on duty.

Recommended:  How to Start a Bartending Catering Business in 2023


Noted above are states with well-known laws allowing or prohibiting the drinking of alcohol while working in an establishment where alcohol is being sold. However, it’s necessary to note that the laws and regulations can change, as such you need to always check the state statutes and local ordinances for accurate and up-to-date information.

It’s always recommended for employers and employees in the hospitality industry to ensure that they, their business, as well as their employees always adhere to local regulations and workplace policies to prioritize responsible alcohol service practices.