In all US states, you must be at least 21 years old in order to purchase alcohol. It is also a criminal offense in all 50 states to make false statements (including fabricating IDs) in order to purchase alcohol. However, states can vary whether possession and consumption are also illegal in all circumstances. In some states you may also be charged with “Internal Possession,” which refers to alcohol inside your body. You may be charged with this as a result of a blood, urine, or breath test or, in some states, for merely “showing signs of intoxication,” even if you are found with no alcohol and you were not seen consuming it.

The drinking age also has the effect of allowing establishments to discriminate and refuse you entry to an establishment because of your age, even if you do not drink. There are also laws that prevent you from having certain jobs that involve the serving or selling of alcohol or that punish people for having young people drink on their property. Additionally, in each state the acceptable Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit for older people is 0.08, but young people are subject to much stricter BAC laws, allowing for very little margin of error.


Alabama

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Prohibited
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Prohibited, including penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 19 with supervision (servers); 21 (bartenders)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: Any with supervision (beer and wine); 21 (spirits)
BAC limit for under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Alabama

Alaska

Possession: Allowed in private location or with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Consumption: Allowed in private location or with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed in private location or with a parent, guardian, or spouse, but with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 21
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 21
BAC limit for under 21: 0.00
Further information on drinking age laws in Alaska

Arizona

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Prohibited
Internal Possession: Prohibited
Furnishing: Prohibited, including penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 19
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 16 with supervision
BAC limit for under 21: 0.00
Further information on drinking age laws in Arizona

Arkansas

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Not specified
Internal Possession: Not specified, but evidence of consumption is seen as evidence of possession
Furnishing: Allowed with a family member, but penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 19 (servers); 21 (bartenders)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18 (beer, wine); 21 (spirits)
BAC limit for under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Arkansas

California

Possession: Allowed in a private location or with “responsible adult relative”
Consumption: Not specified
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Prohibited
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 (servers); 21 (bartenders)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: Any with supervision
BAC limit for under 21: 0.01
Further information on drinking age laws in California

Colorado

Possession: Allowed in private location with permission of the owner and with a parent or guardian
Consumption: Allowed in private location with permission of the owner and with a parent or guardian
Internal Possession: Allowed if consumed in private location with permission of the owner and with a parent or guardian
Furnishing: Allowed in private location and with a parent or guardian
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 with supervision
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 21 with supervision
BAC limit for under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Colorado

Connecticut

Possession: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Consumption: Not specified
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse, but with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 15 (beer); 18 (wine and spirits)
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Connecticut

Delaware

Possession: Allowed in home of a “member of the same family” and in their presence
Consumption: Allowed in home of a “member of the same family” and in their presence
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed in home of a “member of the same family” and in their presence
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 19 (servers); 21 (bartenders)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 21
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Delaware

District of Columbia

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Prohibited
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Prohibited
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 (servers); 21 (bartenders)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18
BAC limit under 21: 0.00
Further information on drinking age laws in District of Columbia

Florida

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Not specified
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Prohibited, including penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: Any (beer and wine); 18 (spirits)
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Florida

Georgia

Possession: Allowed in private location and with a parent or guardian
Consumption: Not specified
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed in private location and with a parent or guardian
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: Any
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Georgia

Hawaii

Possession: Allowed in private location
Consumption: Allowed in private location
Internal Possession: Allowed in private location
Furnishing: Allowed by a parent or guardian
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 with supervision
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18 with supervision
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Hawaii

Idaho

Possession: Allowed in a private residence with a parent or guardian (beer and wine only)
Consumption: Prohibited
Internal Possession: Prohibited
Furnishing: Prohibited
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 19
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 19
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Idaho

Illinois

Possession: Allowed with a parent or guardian
Consumption: Allowed in a private residence with a parent or guardian
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Prohibited, with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18
BAC limit under 21: 0.00
Further information on drinking age laws in Illinois

Indiana

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Prohibited
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Prohibited
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 19 with supervision (servers); 21 (bartenders)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 19 with supervision
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Indiana

Iowa

Possession: Allowed in a private residence with a parent or guardian
Consumption: Allowed in a private residence with a parent or guardian
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed in a private residence with a parent or guardian, but with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 16 (beer and wine); 18 (spirits)
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Iowa

Kansas

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Prohibited
Internal Possession: Prohibited
Furnishing: Prohibited, including penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 with supervision (servers); 21 (bartenders)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 21
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Kansas

Kentucky

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Not specified
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed by a parent or guardian
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 20
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18 with supervision (beer); 20 (wine and spirits)
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Kentucky

Louisiana

Possession: Allowed in a private residence or with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Consumption: Allowed in a private residence or with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed by a parent, guardian, or spouse
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: Any with supervision
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking laws Louisiana

Maine

Possession: Allowed in a private residence with a parent or guardian
Consumption: Allowed in a private residence with a parent or guardian
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed in a private residence with a parent or guardian, but with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 17 with supervision
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 17 with supervision
BAC limit under 21: 0.00
Further information on drinking age laws in Maine

Maryland

Possession: Allowed in private residence or with “immediate family”
Consumption: Allowed in private residence or with “immediate family”
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed in private residence or with “immediate family,” but with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 (servers, beer and wine); 21 (bartenders, spirits)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18 (beer and wine); 21 (spirits)
BAC limit under 21: 0.00
Further information on drinking age laws in Maryland

Massachusetts

Possession: Allowed with a parent or guardian
Consumption: Not specified
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse, but with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Massachusetts

Michigan

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Prohibited
Internal Possession: Prohibited
Furnishing: Prohibited, including penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18
BAC limit under 21: 0.00
Further information on drinking age laws in Michigan

Minnesota

Possession: Allowed in the home of a parent or guardian
Consumption: Allowed in the home of a parent or guardian and in their presence
Internal Possession: Prohibited
Furnishing: Allowed in the home of a parent or guardian and in their presence
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18
BAC limit under 21: 0.00
Further information on drinking age laws in Minnesota

Mississippi

Possession: Allowed in a private location or, if at least 18 years old and only for possession of light wine or beer, with a parent or guardian
Consumption: Not specified
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed if at least 18 years old, with a parent or guardian, and for light wine or beer only, but with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 (servers); 21 (bartenders)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 21
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Mississippi

Missouri

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Not specified
Internal Possession: Prohibited
Furnishing: Allowed with a parent or guardian, but with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 (servers); 21 (bartenders)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18 with supervision
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Missouri

Montana

Possession: Allowed with a parent or guardian if the amount is a “non-intoxicating quantity”
Consumption: Allowed with a parent or guardian if the amount is a “non-intoxicating quantity”
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed with a parent or guardian if the amount is a “non-intoxicating quantity”
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Montana

Nebraska

Possession: Allowed in the home of a parent or guardian or, if at least 16 years old, carrying alcohol from a licensed establishment when accompanied by a person over 21
Consumption: Allowed in the home of a parent or guardian
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Prohibited
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 19
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 19
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Nebraska

Nevada

Possession: Allowed in a private location or with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Consumption: Not specified
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed with a parent or guardian
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 21
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 16 with supervision
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Nevada

New Hampshire

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Not specified
Internal Possession: Prohibited
Furnishing: Prohibited, including penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 16 with supervision; 18
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in New Hampshire

New Jersey

Possession: Allowed in a private location
Consumption: Allowed in a private location
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed with a parent or guardian, but with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18
BAC limit under 21: 0.01
Further information on drinking age laws in New Jersey

New Mexico

Possession: Allowed in a private location or with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Consumption: Not specified
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed in a private location or with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 19 (servers); 21 (bartenders)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 21
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in New Mexico

New York

Possession: Allowed with a parent or guardian
Consumption: Not specified
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Prohibited
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: Any with supervision (beer & wine); 18 with supervision (spirits)
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in New York

North Carolina

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Prohibited
Internal Possession: Prohibited
Furnishing: Prohibited
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 (beer & wine); 21 (spirits)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: Any (beer and wine); 18 (spirits)
BAC limit under 21: 0.00
Further information on drinking age laws in North Carolina

North Dakota

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Prohibited
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Prohibited
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 with supervision (servers); 21 (bartenders)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 21
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in North Dakota

Ohio

Possession: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Consumption: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse, but with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 19 (servers); 19 with license (bartenders: beer only); 21 (bartenders)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Ohio

Oklahoma

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Not specified (although Oklahoma expressly prohibits the underage consumption “low-point beer” unless in a private location with consent from a parent or guardian)
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Prohibited, including penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 (servers); 21 (bartenders)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 21
BAC limit under 21: 0.00
Further information on drinking age laws in Oklahoma

Oregon

Possession: Allowed in a private residence and with a parent or guardian
Consumption: Allowed in a private residence and with a parent or guardian
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed in a private residence and with a parent or guardian, but with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18
BAC limit under 21: 0.00
Further information on drinking age laws in Oregon

Pennsylvania

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Prohibited
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Prohibited, including penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking)
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18
BAC limit under 21: 0.00
Further information on drinking age laws in Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Not specified
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed with a parent or guardian, but with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Rhode Island

South Carolina

Possession: Allowed in the home of a parent or guardian
Consumption: Prohibited
Internal Possession: Allowed in the home of a parent or guardian
Furnishing: Allowed in the home of a parent, guardian, or spouse and in their presence, but with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 (servers); 21 (bartenders) beer, wine and spirits
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: Any (beer, wine); 21 (in a spirits)
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in South Carolina

South Dakota

Possession: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Consumption: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse, but with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 with supervision (servers), 21 (bartenders)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: Any (beer); 21 (wine and spirits)
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in South Dakota

Tennessee

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Prohibited
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Prohibited, including penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Tennessee

Texas

Possession: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Consumption: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing:Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 16 (beer and wine); 21 (spirits)
BAC limit under 21: 0.00
Further information on drinking age laws in Texas

Utah

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Prohibited
Internal Possession: Prohibited
Furnishing: Prohibited, including penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 21
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 21; 16 with supervision in special beer-only premises
BAC limit under 21: 0.00
Further information on drinking age laws in Utah

Vermont

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Prohibited
Internal Possession: Prohibited
Furnishing: Prohibited
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 16 (beer, wine); Spirits are only sold in state-controlled outlets where the minimum age is set by board policy
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Vermont

Virginia

Possession: Allowed in a private residence or with a parent, guardian, or spouse or “making a delivery” with consent from parent or guardian
Consumption: Allowed in a private residence or with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed in a private residence or with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 (servers); 21 (bartenders); 18 (bartenders serving in beer- or wine-only establishments)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: Any
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Virginia

Washington

Possession: Allowed with a parent or guardian
Consumption: Allowed with a parent or guardian
Internal Possession: Allowed in a private location
Furnishing: Allowed with a parent or guardian, but with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 with supervision (servers); 21 (bartenders)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Washington

West Virginia

Possession: Prohibited
Consumption: Prohibited
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed with a relative by blood or marriage
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 with supervision
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in West Virginia

Wisconsin

Possession: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Consumption: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Internal Possession: Not specified
Furnishing: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse, but with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 licensed or with supervision
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 18 licensed or with supervision
BAC limit under 21: 0.00
Further information on drinking age laws in Wisconsin

Wyoming

Possession: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Consumption: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Internal Possession: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse
Furnishing: Allowed with a parent, guardian, or spouse, but with penalties for hosting a party with underage drinking
Age to serve alcohol on-premise: 18 (servers); 21 (bartenders)
Age to serve alcohol off-premise: 21
BAC limit under 21: 0.02
Further information on drinking age laws in Wyoming