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Liquor law in California

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Stores and bars open hours

Bars closing at 2 a.m.
Alcohol sold in a grocery or liquor store is classified as off-premise.
Off-premise alcohol sales are permitted in California from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday through Saturday.

Stores and gas stations informations

Gas stations - alcohol rules:

  • Employees who sell beer or wine between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. must be at least 21 years old.
  • As of January 1, 1988, beer or wine must not be exhibited within five feet of the cash register or the front entrance unless it is in a permanently installed cooler.
  • Alcoholic beverage advertisements are not permitted to be exhibited at motor fuel islands, buildings, or windows.

Drinking legal age

Over 21 year old can buy and drink alcohol.
Staff serving alcohol must be over 18.
Exception for wine and beer production students (18 - 20 years old): They can taste - but not consume what they are making and studying

Driving and alcohol

It is illegal to drive after consuming excessive amounts of alcohol in any form (including pharmaceuticals such as cough syrup) or taking any drug (including prescription medications).

Blood alcohol concentration limits when driving:

  • BAC of 0.08% or higher, if the person is 21 years old or older.
  • BAC of 0.01% or higher, if the person is under 21 years old.

Extra informations

Open container law:

Law prohibit driving with an alcoholic beverage in the car that has been opened – even if not consumed
It is prohibited selling alcohol to anyone considered “obviously intoxicated”.