Florida Alcohol Laws: What Time Can You Buy Alcohol on Sunday?

florida alcohol laws

Florida alcohol laws can be confusing, especially for out-of-state visitors, due to local laws changing per county. In Florida, towns typically have the power to implement their rules. For tourists looking to have a drink as they travel through several cities and counties, this may cause uncertainty. 

Enjoy the Sunshine State to the fullest by learning about the most critical Florida alcohol laws governing the purchase of alcohol, specifically on Sundays. 

Where Can You Buy Alcohol in Florida? 

You can buy beer, wine, and liqueurs in Florida at convenience, supermarkets, and retail stores. Spirits or liquors are sold in retail package stores. Between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m., bars and restaurants stop serving alcohol even though certain counties are permitted to sell alcohol seven days a week, 24 hours a day. 

Legal Age for Consuming and Serving Alcohol 

To purchase and consume alcohol, a person must be 21 years or older. Even a first violation constitutes a felony, facing a penalty of a $500 fine and 60 days in jail. A second violation carries a $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison.

Buying alcohol or attempting to buy alcohol with a forged ID is illegal. It carries a maximum five-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine.

The penalty for lending someone an ID is a $500 fine and 60 days in jail. The same consequences apply if you use someone else's ID. And the state has the authority to revoke both individuals' licenses for a year.

A person may not sell, give, or serve alcoholic beverages to someone under 21 years of age or permit a person under 21 to consume such beverages on the licensed premises. 

Here are some of the important alcohol laws followed in Florida: 

  • Age to consume: 21 
  • Age to serve: 18 
  • Age to pour: 21 
  • Age to sell (packaged liquor): 18
  • Employees under 18 years old are not allowed to sell or serve alcohol. 
  • In establishments where sales from food make up more than 50% of total sales, minors are allowed in the establishment. No law exists prohibiting minors to sit at a bar if they are not consuming alcohol. 
  • Employees must be at least 18 to work in areas of an establishment that sell or serve alcohol for consumption. 

What time can you buy alcohol in Florida? 

Except for railroads selling alcohol to passengers on railroad cars, Florida establishments typically don’t sell, serve, or permit the consumption of alcoholic beverages between 12 a.m. and 7 a.m. the following morning.

However, in other Florida municipalities, customers can purchase alcohol until 3 a.m. Retailers are not permitted to sell alcohol any time between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m., seven days a week. The days and hours of alcohol sales are primarily under the jurisdiction of Florida's counties and cities. 

Along with a few other counties, Miami-Dade is one of the few counties to allow 24-hour sales seven days a week. 

Moreover, Florida drinking laws prohibit drinking on public property. This generally includes streets, sidewalks, parking lots, and beaches. However, this prohibition also applies to private property if the owner hasn’t given permission. 

What time can you buy alcohol in Florida on Sunday? 

The county primarily determines the decision to sell alcohol on Sundays. Florida as a state does not restrict alcohol sales on a Sunday. But many counties do limit sale hours on Sunday. 

Previously, sales beginning at noon on Sundays were enforced in some counties. However, a new law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in June 2021, HB 1518, allows retailers who sell beer and wine for off-site consumption, like grocery and convenience stores, to begin selling at 10 a.m. on Sundays instead of noon.

Some counties in Florida, such as Baker and Polk, were previously dry on Sundays. Prohibiting alcohol sales on Sundays or until noon is a relic of Blue Laws. A blue law is one restricting activity or sales of goods on Sunday to respect the Christian Sabbath. Virginia passed the first blue law in the American colonies in 1617.

However, in Polk County, beer and wine can now be purchased as early as 7 a.m. on Sundays after county commissioners voted to extend the hours. Before the vote passed, certain parts of the county could not buy alcohol until noon on Sundays. The vote passed 3-2.

What time can I buy beer in Florida? 

Although Florida has specified hours for the sale of alcohol, counties and municipalities are also allowed to set their hours. This means that the times you can buy beer will depend on the county. 

In Florida, you can buy beer, off and on-premise, Monday through Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. Certain counties allow the sale of alcohol from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. Some retailers even allow 24/7 sales. 

What time does Florida stop selling alcohol? 

According to Florida law, counties and incorporated municipalities may enact hours of sale ordinances (§ 562.45(2)(a), Fla. Stat.). If local law does not provide hours of sale, the default hours for sale, consumption, or service of alcohol are limited to 7:00 a.m. to midnight each day (§ 562.14(1), Fla. Stat.)

What time do liquor stores close in Florida? 

Some states only permit the sale of liquor at liquor stores, limiting the sale of beer and wine to only grocery stores. Despite legislative efforts, this also applies to Florida liquor laws. 

The law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in June 2021, HB 1518, only applies to beer and wine, meaning liquor is still not permitted to be sold on Sundays, and liquor stores are to remain closed on Sundays.

A bill that would have allowed grocery stores and gas stations to sell hard liquor on shelves alongside beer and wine was defeated in 2017, with opponents claiming that it might make it easier for people under 21 to obtain alcohol and may hurt sales from small liquor businesses.

For the time being, anyone who wants to buy liquor in Florida must do so in a liquor store. However, grocery stores and gas stations sell beer and wine. 

For more information on Florida alcohol laws, visit the Official Internet Site of the Florida Legislature or sign up for one of our alcohol training courses.