Home Drink Menu Open main menu

Liquor law in Arkansas

Arkansas flag

Drinking Age in Arkansas

In Arkansas, the legal drinking age is 21 years old. This means that individuals under the age of 21 cannot purchase, possess or consume alcoholic beverages in the state.

History of Drinking Age in Arkansas

The legal drinking age in Arkansas has changed several times over the years. In 1935, the legal drinking age was established at 21 years old. However, in 1972, the state lowered the drinking age to 18 years old. This was in response to the national movement to lower the drinking age.

In 1984, Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which required states to raise the legal drinking age to 21 years old or risk losing federal highway funds. Arkansas complied with this law in 1986 and raised the drinking age back to 21 years old.

Penalties for Underage Drinking

Underage drinking in Arkansas is illegal, and there are penalties for individuals who violate this law. Some of the penalties include:

  • Fines up to $500
  • Community service
  • Suspension of driver's license for up to six months
  • Mandatory alcohol education classes
  • Possible imprisonment

Exceptions to the Drinking Age Law

There are some exceptions to the drinking age law in Arkansas. For example, individuals who are at least 18 years old and in the military can drink on base. In addition, minors can drink alcohol for religious purposes, as long as they have parental consent.


In conclusion, the legal drinking age in Arkansas is 21 years old. Underage drinking is illegal and can result in fines, community service, suspension of driver's license, mandatory alcohol education classes, and possible imprisonment. There are some exceptions to the drinking age law, such as for military personnel and religious purposes.

Driving and Alcohol Laws in Arkansas

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Arkansas. The state has strict laws regarding driving and alcohol consumption to ensure public safety. Here is a brief summary of the driving and alcohol laws in Arkansas:

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Limits

Limit Situation
0.08% Drivers over 21 years old
0.02% Drivers under 21 years old
0.04% Commercial drivers

Drivers who exceed the legal BAC limit will face DUI charges, which can result in fines, imprisonment, and suspension of their driver's license.

Implied Consent Law

Drivers in Arkansas are required to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test if an officer suspects they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Refusal to take the test can result in an automatic suspension of their driver's license.

Open Container Law

It is illegal to have an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of a vehicle that is on a public roadway in Arkansas. The driver and any passengers can face fines if caught with an open container.

Zero Tolerance Law

Drivers under the age of 21 are subject to a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol consumption in Arkansas. Any driver under 21 found to have any amount of alcohol in their system can face DUI charges.

Penalties for DUI

Offense Penalties
First offense Up to one year in jail, $1,000 fine, and license suspension for six months
Second offense Up to two years in jail, $3,000 fine, and license suspension for two years
Third offense Up to five years in jail, $5,000 fine, and license suspension for three years
Fourth or subsequent offense Up to six years in jail, $5,000 fine, and license suspension for four years

In addition to these penalties, drivers convicted of DUI may also be required to attend alcohol education classes or install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.

Overall, it is important for drivers in Arkansas to be aware of these laws and the severe consequences of driving under the influence. Always plan ahead and designate a sober driver or arrange for alternative transportation if drinking alcohol.

Blood Alcohol Concentration in Arkansas

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Legal Status in Arkansas
Less than 0.08% Legal
0.08% to 0.15% DUI (Driving Under the Influence) offense
Greater than 0.15% Aggravated DUI offense

In Arkansas, it is illegal for adults to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. This is considered a DUI offense and can result in fines, license suspension, and even jail time.

If the BAC is higher than 0.15%, it is considered an aggravated DUI offense and can result in even harsher penalties.

It is important for adults in Arkansas to understand the legal limits for alcohol consumption and to make responsible decisions when drinking. It is always recommended to designate a sober driver or use alternative transportation options if drinking.

Open container law in Arkansas

Open Container Law in Arkansas

The open container law in Arkansas prohibits the consumption of alcohol in public places. This law is enforced to prevent drunk driving and public intoxication. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

What is Considered an Open Container?

An open container is any container that contains an alcoholic beverage that has been opened, has a broken seal, or has a partially consumed contents. This includes bottles, cans, and any other type of container.

Where is the Open Container Law Enforced?

The open container law is enforced in any public place, including streets, sidewalks, parking lots, parks, and other outdoor areas. It is also enforced in vehicles, even if the vehicle is parked.

What are the Penalties for Violating the Open Container Law?

The penalties for violating the open container law in Arkansas include fines and possible jail time. The fines for a first offense typically range from $100 to $500, and subsequent offenses can result in increased fines and jail time.


To avoid the penalties associated with violating the open container law in Arkansas, it is important to consume alcohol in private locations and to not bring open containers into public places. By following these guidelines, individuals can enjoy alcoholic beverages responsibly and avoid legal troubles.

Arkansas Liquor Sale Open Hours

City Open hours
Little Rock Monday-Saturday: 8am-12am
Sunday: 10am-10pm
Fort Smith Monday-Saturday: 7am-1am
Sunday: 12pm-12am
Fayetteville Monday-Saturday: 8am-12am
Sunday: 10am-10pm
Springdale Monday-Saturday: 8am-12am
Sunday: 10am-10pm
Jonesboro Monday-Saturday: 7am-1am
Sunday: 12pm-12am

In Arkansas, liquor sale open hours can vary depending on the city. The following table outlines the liquor sale open hours for some of the major cities in Arkansas. It is important to note that the reader must be of legal drinking age in the United States to purchase liquor.

  • Little Rock:

    • Monday-Saturday: 8am-12am
    • Sunday: 10am-10pm
  • Fort Smith:

    • Monday-Saturday: 7am-1am
    • Sunday: 12pm-12am
  • Fayetteville:

    • Monday-Saturday: 8am-12am
    • Sunday: 10am-10pm
  • Springdale:

    • Monday-Saturday: 8am-12am
    • Sunday: 10am-10pm
  • Jonesboro:

    • Monday-Saturday: 7am-1am
    • Sunday: 12pm-12am

It's important to keep in mind that these hours can change, and it's always best to double-check with your local liquor store or state liquor authority for the most up-to-date information.