Alcohol Laws by State
All states prohibit providing alcohol to persons under 21, although states may have limited exceptions relating to lawful employment, religious activities, or consent by a parent, guardian, or spouse. Among states that have an exception related to such family member consent, that exception often is limited to specific locations (such as private locations, private residences, or in the parent or guardian’s home.) No state has an exception that permits anyone other than a family member to provide alcohol to a minor on private property. In addition, many states have laws that provide that “social hosts” are responsible for underage drinking events on property they own, lease, or otherwise control, whether or not the social host actually provides the alcohol.
Click on the map for more information about the laws in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Information on state laws is provided by the Alcohol Policy Information System, a project of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.