is it illegal for bartenders to drink on the job

is it illegal for bartenders to drink on the job

The Legalities of Drinking on the Job for Bartenders

Whether working at an upscale bar, nightclub, or restaurant, it can be tempting for bartenders to take a sip of alcohol while they’re on the job. But, is it legal for bartenders to drink while they’re working?

State Laws

The answer to this question varies by state. Generally, no state allows a bartender to consume alcohol while tending bar. However, there are a few exceptions where the state explicitly authorizes certain employees to consume alcohol on the job. Each state has its own rules and regulations governing activities of bartenders.

The Legal Consequences of On-the-Job Drinking

Bartenders who violate state laws by drinking while on the job may face both criminal and civil penalties. Under criminal law, bartenders could face fines, jail time, or even revocation of their bartending license. In addition, businesses that knowingly allow their employees to consume alcohol while working may also face legal consequences.

Tips for Staying Within the Law

If you’re a bartender, it’s important to understand and follow the laws in your state. Here are a few tips to help you stay within the law:

  • Always be aware of the local laws. Before you start a new bartending job, research the state’s laws regarding drinking on the job.
  • Set a good example. As a bartender, you should always set a good example for your patrons. Don’t drink while working and follow all of the regulations governing bartenders in your state.
  • Never serve a drink that you haven’t sampled. You should always taste every drink that you plan to serve to ensure that it has been made correctly. However, make sure to pour only a small amount and never consume more than a sip.
  • Be aware of your limits. Even if it is legal to consume alcohol while working, you should be aware of your limits and practice moderation. Don’t over consume alcohol while on the job.

In general, it’s best to avoid drinking while working, even if you’re in an establishment or state where it is allowed. Following the regulations laid out by your state and always being mindful of your limit can help you stay on the right side of the law.


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