Ohio Liquor Laws & Bartender License

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Ohio Alcohol Laws for Minors, Servers, and Bartenders

Every state in the US has its own recognized laws regarding the manufacture, distribution, and retail of alcohol within the state’s jurisdiction. 

small glass beer tap

In the state of Ohio, the government uses a three-tier system for bringing alcohol to the public. The sale of beer and wine is regulated through this process, ensuring that no monopoly happens, as was the case many years ago. However, the state has public ownership over a portion of the spirits supply chain, the proceeds of which funds the state.

Read on to learn more about Ohio liquor laws.

How old do you have to be to serve alcohol in Ohio?

You must be at least 19 years old to legally serve alcohol for on-site consumption but if the alcohol in question is wine or spirits, then you will need to be at least 21 years old.

How old do you have to be to buy and consume alcohol?

Minors can drink alcoholic beverages when parents, a guardian, or a spouse of drinking age is present. They may also do so for medical, religious, or educational purposes. However, according to Ohio liquor laws, a parent cannot give alcohol to another minor who is not their child, even if the other minor’s parent consents to it. 

Generally, it’s illegal under Ohio liquor laws for a person under 21 years old to purchase or try to purchase alcohol. Doing so using a fake ID is a punishable offense.

Where can you buy alcohol in Ohio?

Spirits can only be purchased from liquor stores while beer and wine can be bought via private retailers such as grocery stores, drug stores, and convenience marts.

Can you buy alcohol online in Ohio?

As of 2021, House Bill 674 now allows the delivery of distilled spirits and liquor on any day of the week, on the sole condition that the beverage be sold and delivered in its original package or container. The person who will be receiving the delivery should be able to prove that they are 21 years or older.

Happy young male bartender making blue margarita cocktail

Basic Ohio alcohol law guidelines for businesses

Ohio liquor laws prohibit businesses from selling alcohol to individuals under 21. They are also not allowed to give out free celebratory drinks. 

Businesses can sell alcohol between 5:30 am to 2:30 am from Mondays to Saturdays. Sunday sales heavily depend on the location but with a special permit, alcohol may be sold from 10 pm to 1 am.

Ohio alcohol laws do not require individuals to obtain a bartending license in Ohio to be able to sell and serve alcohol. However, businesses can each set their own hiring requirements.

Regardless, the law permits 18-year-olds to sell beer, spirits, wine and other alcoholic beverages as long as they are in sealed containers. To be able to serve alcohol, you must at least be 19 years of age, and if you’re looking to be employed as a bartender, you must first be of drinking age (21 or older).

How to get a bartending license in Ohio?

Many liquor permit holders in the state of Ohio may still require their staff to take and pass the Ohio Safe Alcohol Sales Training, also known as the Ohio Alcohol Server Knowledge (ASK) Program. This short course teaches trainees about the state laws concerning alcohol sale and consumption. It also equips staff with the knowledge necessary to cushion themselves and the business from liability.

If you’re looking to acquire your seller server permit or bartending license in Ohio, do so with a reputable, state-recognized course provider. Serving Alcohol offers training using standards set by the Ohio Liquor Control Commission. All the courses are available online and can be completed in just a few hours using your phone, tablet, or computer. Your certificate will be issued to you immediately after completion.

If you’re ready to take the next step, check out the course here and get certified today!

4 Responses

  1. Helene
    | Reply
    I really enjoy the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it more
    enjoyable to visit more often. Fantastic work!
  2. April
    | Reply
    If you are legally allowed so sell alcohol at 19, why is the legal drinking age 21?? Make any sense to u?? Oh yea let’s encourage the 19 year old to drink but they aren’t allowed till 21🙄🙄🙄 bad ideas🙄🙄🤔🤔
    • Tony
      It is interesting indeed. Back in the 1980’s, the federal government had given every state the option of either changing the legal limit to consume alcohol to be 21 or they would without yearly federal highway funding. Of course, all the state’s eventually switched to age 21.
  3. Christy
    | Reply
    This is a debate between a 20 year old and myself (59). Let’s say we are at a drive through. Can the 20 year old ask for a beer as long as they don’t physically pay for it?

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