Posted on: August 10, 2023

Ohio Liquor Laws: How Old Must You Be to Bartend in Ohio?

Ohio Liquor Laws: How Old Must You Be to Bartend in Ohio?

Bartending is a dynamic profession that requires a unique set of skills and responsibilities. Anyone considering a career behind the bar should understand the legal requirements associated with the position, particularly when it comes to age restrictions. Ohio, like every other state in the U.S., has specific laws and regulations in place to ensure the safe and responsible service of alcohol. 

In this blog, we’ll explore the minimum age requirements for bartenders in Ohio and discuss Ohio liquor laws. Whether you're an aspiring bartender ready to start your career or simply curious about Ohio alcohol laws, this guide will provide the information you need. 

Ohio Liquor Laws 2023

It’s crucial to be mindful of Ohio's detailed and comprehensive liquor laws to avoid any legal issues. Here are some important Ohio liquor laws that you should be aware of: 

  • The legal drinking age in Ohio is 21 years old, and it’s illegal for anyone under this age to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages.
  • Individuals under 19 years of age are prohibited from selling beer, while individuals under 21 years of age cannot sell wine, distilled spirits, and mixed beverages across a bar.
  • Individuals under 18 years of age are not allowed to serve, handle, or sell intoxicating liquor or beer.
  • Businesses that sell alcoholic beverages, such as bars, restaurants, and liquor stores, are required to obtain the appropriate permits and licenses from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control.
  • Permit holders are prohibited from selling alcoholic beverages to individuals who show intoxication signs
  • Ohio law enforces that “Happy Hour” drink specials must end before 9:00 p.m. 
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) laws in Ohio are strictly enforced. It is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. 
  • Ohio has "dram shop" laws, which hold establishments liable for injuries or damages caused by serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals or minors who subsequently cause harm to themselves or others. 

These points provide a general overview of Ohio liquor laws and may not encompass all specific regulations or recent changes. 

What Time Does Ohio Stop Selling Alcohol? 

So, when can you buy alcohol in Ohio? In Ohio, the sale of alcohol is regulated by state laws and varies depending on the type of establishment and the day of the week. Generally, the permitted Ohio alcohol sales times are as follows: 

  1. Monday through Saturday. Alcohol can generally be purchased from 5:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. the following day. This applies to most establishments, including liquor stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores.
  2. Sunday. Alcohol sales are permitted from 10:00 a.m. until 1 a.m., with a special permit, depending on the location. Similar to other days, this applies to various establishments where alcohol is sold. 

Individuals holding Class 1 permits in Ohio are authorized to purchase and sell alcoholic beverages from 5:30 a.m. until 1 a.m. Additionally, during these hours, individuals can consume beer, wine, distilled spirits, and mixed beverages. 

For those with Class 2 permits, the permissible hours for buying and selling alcoholic beverages in Ohio extend from 5:30 a.m. until 2:30 a.m. However, purchases of alcohol can only be made from bars, restaurants, and hotels with Class 2 permits during the period between 5:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. 

These hours are the general guidelines set by the state, but individual cities and municipalities in Ohio may have their own specific regulations that further restrict or extend alcohol sale hours. Some areas may also have additional restrictions during certain holidays or events

Can You Buy Liquor on Sunday in Ohio? 

Ohio Sunday liquor sales are prohibited unless the retailer or merchandiser obtains a valid permit. Authorized Sunday sales can only take place from 5:30 a.m. to midnight on that day.

Furthermore, home delivery of alcoholic beverages on Sundays is permitted if the retailer has obtained the necessary permit. 

However, local jurisdictions may impose restrictions on the hours of delivery. Therefore, it is advisable to check the regulations within your specific local jurisdiction before requesting home delivery of alcoholic beverages on Sundays. 

Can You Buy Wine on Sundays in Ohio? 

Yes, you can buy wine on Sundays in Ohio. The state of Ohio allows the sale of wine on Sundays, subject to the specific hours set by the Ohio Division of Liquor Control. As mentioned earlier, on Sundays, alcohol sales in Ohio are permitted from 10:00 a.m. until midnight. This includes the sale of wine in various establishments such as liquor stores, supermarkets, and other authorized retailers. 

Can You Buy Beer on Sundays in Ohio? 

According to Ohio Liquor Law, to sell beer sale hours in Ohio on Sundays, stores are required to obtain a license specifically permitting Sunday sales.

Moreover, Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages can only commence between 5:30 a.m. and must end at the same time as you are otherwise required to do Monday to Saturday, depending on the approved permit obtained by the store. The permitted hours of sale on Sundays are determined within the timeframe specified by the permit. 

Ohio Bartending Laws 

Ohio bartending laws encompass various regulations and requirements that govern the sale and service of alcohol in the state. According to Daniel Farber, a member of the Board of Directors of the American Craft Spirits Association, Ohio Liquor Laws may be perceived as stringent due to their efforts to combat the historical network of bootleggers that emerged during Prohibition. 

Here are some key laws to keep in mind when looking to bartend in Ohio: 

Age Requirement 

To work as a bartender in Ohio, you must be at least 21 years old. This age restriction ensures that bartenders are of legal drinking age and can handle alcohol responsibly.

Alcohol Server Training 

Ohio law requires bartenders and other alcohol servers to complete an approved Ohio alcohol server training course. This training provides education on responsible alcohol service, recognizing signs of intoxication, and preventing alcohol-related issues.

Licensing and Permits 

Bartenders may need to obtain specific licenses or permits depending on the city or county they work in. These licenses could include a liquor license for the establishment or a personal permit for the bartender. 

These laws include various sanctions and penalties for individuals who violate the established liquor regulations. 

How Old Do You Have to Be to Bartend in Ohio? 

In Ohio, the legal age requirement to bartend is 21 years old. The age to serve alcohol in Ohio is 21 years of age, which is the national minimum legal drinking age in the state. This age restriction is in place to ensure that individuals serving alcoholic beverages are of legal age to consume and handle alcohol responsibly. 

Ohio has a set of intricate laws regarding age restrictions and selling/serving alcohol. Here are some of the laws to be aware of:

  • The minimum age requirement to work as a bartender is 21 years old.
  • Individuals who are 18 years old can sell beer, wine, mixed beverages, or spirituous liquor, but only in sealed containers. 
  • When working as a waiter/waitress, 19-year-olds can handle beer, wine, mixed beverages, or spirituous liquor in open containers. 
  • 19-year-olds are allowed to sell beer across a bar. 
  • To sell wine, mixed beverages, or spirituous liquor across a bar, one must be at least 21 years old. 

Remember, aspiring bartenders may also need to meet other requirements, such as completing alcohol server training courses and obtaining the necessary permits or licenses as mandated by local authorities to comply with regulations. 

At TIPS, we ensure that you receive training on the regulations and guidelines that affect you in your role. By completing our Ohio Alcohol Server & Seller Training course, you prove you are a professional in the industry and can create a safe environment where alcohol is served and sold. Sign up today!