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Liquor law in Delaware

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Drinking Age in Delaware: An Overview

Delaware is one of the states in the United States that has set minimum legal drinking age at 21 years. This means that individuals under the age of 21 are not legally allowed to purchase or consume alcohol in the state.

Minimum Legal Drinking Age

The minimum legal drinking age in Delaware is 21 years. This law applies to all forms of alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, and spirits. Any person under the age of 21 who is caught purchasing, possessing or consuming alcohol can face legal consequences.

Underage Drinking Laws

Delaware has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking. This means that any person under the age of 21 who is caught with even a small amount of alcohol in their system can be arrested and charged with a DUI. The state also has a "possession of fake ID" law that makes it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to possess a fake ID or use someone else's ID to buy alcohol.

Exceptions to the Drinking Age Law

There are some exceptions to the drinking age law in Delaware. These exceptions are:

  • Medical purposes: If a person under the age of 21 needs to consume alcohol for medical reasons, they can do so with a prescription from a licensed physician.
  • Religious ceremonies: In some cases, a person under the age of 21 may be allowed to consume alcohol as part of a religious ceremony.
  • Private property: A person under the age of 21 may consume alcohol on private property with the permission of their parent or guardian.
  • Alcohol sales by minors: In some cases, minors may be allowed to sell alcohol in certain establishments, such as grocery stores or convenience stores.

Enforcement of Drinking Age Laws

In Delaware, law enforcement agencies take the enforcement of drinking age laws seriously. The state has a "proactive approach" to enforcing these laws, with police officers frequently conducting compliance checks at bars, restaurants, and other establishments where alcohol is sold. The penalties for violating drinking age laws in Delaware can include fines, community service, and even jail time.


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Driving and Alcohol Laws in Delaware

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense in Delaware. The state has strict laws in place to prevent accidents and fatalities caused by drunk driving. Here is a brief summary of the alcohol laws in Delaware:

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits

In Delaware, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08 or higher. For commercial drivers, the limit is 0.04, and for drivers under the age of 21, it is 0.02.

Penalties for DUI

The penalties for a DUI conviction in Delaware increase with each offense. First-time offenders may face fines up to $1,500, license suspension for one year, and possible jail time. Repeat offenders face steeper fines, longer license suspensions, and mandatory jail time.

Implied Consent Law

In Delaware, drivers are subject to an implied consent law. This means that if a driver is suspected of driving under the influence, they are required to submit to a chemical test, such as a breathalyzer or blood test. Refusing to take the test can result in an automatic license suspension.

Open Container Law

Delaware also has an open container law, which prohibits drivers and passengers from possessing open containers of alcohol in a vehicle, regardless of whether the driver is intoxicated.

Dram Shop Law

Under Delaware's dram shop law, a bar or restaurant can be held liable for serving alcohol to an individual who causes an accident while under the influence.

In conclusion, Delaware has strict alcohol laws in place to prevent drunk driving accidents and fatalities. It is important for drivers to be aware of these laws and to never operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Blood Alcohol Concentration in Delaware

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Legally Intoxicated Limit
0.01-0.07 No legal limit
0.08 Legal limit for driving under the influence (DUI)
0.15 High BAC, leading to harsher penalties

In Delaware, the legally intoxicated limit for driving under the influence (DUI) is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08. This means that if an adult from the USA is caught driving with a BAC level of 0.08 or higher, they can be charged with a DUI.

It is important to note that there is no legal limit for BAC levels below 0.08 in the state of Delaware. However, it is still possible to be charged with a DUI if the individual's ability to operate a vehicle safely is impaired due to alcohol or drugs, even if their BAC level is below the legal limit.

If an individual's BAC level is found to be 0.15 or higher, they may face harsher penalties, including longer jail time and a longer license suspension.

It is always important to drink responsibly and never operate a vehicle if you have consumed any amount of alcohol.

Open container law in Delaware

Open Container Law in Delaware

The open container law in Delaware prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places. Here are the key points:

What is an Open Container?

An open container is defined as any bottle, can, or other vessel that contains an alcoholic beverage that has been opened or has a broken seal.

Where is it Prohibited?

It is illegal to consume or possess an open container of alcohol in any public place, including streets, sidewalks, parks, and parking lots.


There are some exceptions to the open container law. These include:

  • Licensed premises: An open container is permitted on the licensed premises of a bar, restaurant, or tavern.
  • Private property: An open container is allowed on private property, such as a backyard or patio.
  • Special events: An open container may be allowed at special events, such as festivals or concerts, if a permit is obtained.


A violation of the open container law in Delaware is considered a civil offense. The penalty for a first offense is a fine of up to $25. Subsequent offenses carry a fine of up to $50.

Overall, individuals should be aware of the open container law in Delaware and the potential penalties for violating it.

Delaware Liquor Sale Open Hours

Store Type Days of the Week Sale Hours
Beer Monday-Sunday 6:00am-1:00am
Wine Monday-Sunday 9:00am-10:00pm
Liquor Monday-Saturday 9:00am-9:00pm
Liquor Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm

Delaware is a state that allows the sale of liquor, wine, and beer in grocery stores, convenience stores, and other retail establishments. The sale of alcoholic beverages is regulated by the Delaware Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner.

The table above lists the Liquor sale open hours in Delaware. If you're an adult in the USA looking to purchase liquor, wine, or beer in Delaware, the table will give you a quick overview of when you can do so.

For beer, you can purchase it from 6:00 am to 1:00 am, Monday through Sunday. Wine can be purchased from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm, Monday through Sunday. For liquor, you can purchase it from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, Monday through Saturday, and from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sundays.

It's important to note that these hours may differ for special holidays, so it's always a good idea to check with your local store to confirm their hours of operation.