Frequently Asked Questions on AZ Liquor Laws

Hours of Service

Q: What are the hours of liquor service?

An on-sale retail licensee may not allow a person to consume spirituous liquor on the premises between the hours 2:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. No person who is not the licensee or employee can possess spirituous liquors in open containers on the premises between the hours of 2:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. [A.R.S. 4-244(15)(17)]

Q: When can liquor be served on Election Day?

A: Election days are like any other day. There is no extra prohibition with respect to hours of operation.

Q: May a restaurant licensee decide when to stop serving food and continue serving liquor?

A: No. The kitchen must remain open for complete food service until 10:00 p.m. if you wish to sell & serve liquor till 2:00 a.m.

Age Requirements

Q: What is the legal drinking age in the State of Arizona?

A: 21 years of age [A.R.S. 4-101(16)]

Q: What is the minimum age for serving/selling of alcoholic beverages?

A: Nineteen for an on-sale establishment and 19 for an off-sale establishment that sells primarily spirituous liquor. Sixteen for an off-sale establishment that sells primarily items other than spirituous liquor. [A.R.S. 4-244(10)(11)]

Q: How old do you have to be to buy non-alcoholic beer?

A: No restriction. The Department of Liquor Licenses and Control does not control the sale of non-alcoholic beverages.

Q: Can kids be in a bar?

A: Yes, if the person under the legal drinking age is accompanied by a spouse, parent or legal guardian of legal drinking age or is an on-duty employee of the licensee. A bar is described as an establishment with the primary purpose of the sale and consumption of liquor. [A.R.S. 4-244(22)(a)]

Q: Under what circumstances may an underage person be in a bar or lounge?

A: Only when he or she is with a parent, legal guardian or spouse of legal age. An "on-duty" employee who is at least 19 years of age may also be in the bar. [A.R.S. 4-244(22)]

Q: May an underage person consume alcohol on a licensed premise if he is with a parent who consents?

A: No. [A.R.S. 4-244(9,16)]

Q: How old must a person be to cook with alcohol?

A: They should be 19 years of age and the alcohol they cook with should be locked up and supervised by someone that is over the age of 21. They can give them the correct amount to add to the recipe when needed. They need to make sure the underage cook does not consume the alcohol.

Q: Is it illegal for a customer to be on a licensed premise without proper identification?

A: No. However, if asked by the establishment to show proper I.D., the customer must produce it in order to be served. [A.R.S. 4-241(A)]

Q: What are the acceptable forms of identification?

A: (1) A driver's license from any state or Canada provided it includes a picture of the licensee, (2) an Arizona identifications card issued by the Motor Vehicle Division, (3) an armed forces identification card, and (4) a valid passport or border crossing identification card issued by a government, or voter card issued by the government of Mexico which contains a photograph of the person and date of birth. ALL MUST BE UNEXPIRED. [A.R.S. 4-241(A)(1 - 4)]

Q: What are the penalties for using false identification?

A: People under age 21 who use a false-identifying instrument or otherwise purchase alcoholic beverages may, in addition to other privileges, be subject to losing driving privileges.

Q: May an underage person who attempts to buy liquor with a false I.D. go to jail?

A: Yes. He could be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. [A.R.S. 4-241(D)]

Qualification & Licensing

Q: How long does it take to process a license after application has been made?

A: Approximately 65-105 days.

Q: How far must I be from a church or school?

A: 300 feet. A.R.S. 4-207(A) See exceptions at A.R.S. 4-207(B).

Q: If I had an arrest several years ago, may I still apply for a license?

A: A.R.S. 4-202(D) No license shall be issued to any person who, within one year prior to application, has had a license revoked. No license shall be issued to or renewed for any person who, within five years prior to application, has been convicted of a felony or convicted of an offense in another state that would be a felony in this state, provided that for a conviction of a corporation to be a basis for denial under the provisions of this section, the limitations provided in Section 4-210, Subsection A, Paragraph 8, shall apply. No corporation shall have its annual license issued or renewed unless it has on file with the department a list of its officers and directors and any stockholders who own ten percent or more of the corporation.

Q: How many citations are issued to a license before a liquor license is revoked?

A: If it's serious enough, the first citation could result in revocation.

Q: Is it mandatory that licensees and their employees attend an alcohol management/liquor law program?

A: No. However, on any original applications, new managers and/or the person responsible for the day-to-day operations must attend a basic and management training class. [A.R.S. 4-112(G)(2)]

Operational Matters

Q: Do I have to buy all alcohol from a wholesaler?

A: Yes. [A.R.S. 4-243.01, 4-244(7)]

Q: If I reported an act of violence to the police, do I have to report it to you?

A: A licensee shall report an act of violence to either the department or a law enforcement agency. [A.R.S. 4-244(36)]

Q: What is the primary area of enforcement in liquor sales?

A: The most highly enforced areas are over serving and selling to minors.

Q: Is it legal for the band to drink?

A: Yes. Persons on the premises for a vocal or musical performance may consume alcohol while on duty. [A.R.S. 4-244(13), 4-101(14)]

Q: May an employee be held liable for serving an intoxicated person?

A: Yes. An employee could be held criminally liable. He also could be named in a civil lawsuit should an accident result.

Q: May an employee be cited for serving an intoxicated person after having followed the employers orders to do so?

A: Yes. [A.R.S. 4-244(14)]

Q: May a bar owner drink alcoholic beverages in his own establishment?

A: Yes, when he is not serving customers. He may not be intoxicated or disorderly while on the premises. [A.R.S. 4-244(14)]

Q: May liquor be removed from an on-sale establishment by a customer?

A: Yes. A customer may take liquor in unbroken packages if the establishment has a No. 6 bar license or a No. 7 beer and wine bar license. Unfinished bottles of wine that have been recorked, flush with the top of the wine bottle (if the wine was served with a meal) may also be removed. [A.R.S. 4-244(31)]

Q: May a licensed establishment offer coupons to be redeemed for alcoholic beverages?

A: Off sale liquor licensed retailers may offer coupons. On sale retailers may not offer coupons. Title 4 does not specify whether a license may use coupons for the purchase of a non-alcoholic product in addition to the purchase of spirituous liquor, but it does not prohibit it. Title 4 does specify that off sale retailers may, for example, offer a bottle of tequila with a coupon to get 50% off margarita mix. [A.A.C. R19-1-206 and A.A.C. R19-1-228]

Q: May a customer bring alcohol into a licensed establishment?

A: No. [A.R.S. 4-244(39)]

Q: May a banquet customer purchase and bring alcohol to a function for which he has reserved a licensed establishment?

A: No. [A.R.S. 4-244(39)]

Q: Is the parking lot legally considered part of a licensed premise?

A: No. [A.R.S. 4-101(24)]

Q: Is a licensee responsible for problems that occur in his parking lot?

A: Yes, if he is aware of the problem. [A.R.S. 4-210(A)(10), A.A.C. R19-1-234]

Q: May a bartender or server buy a drink for a customer?

A: No. [A.R.S. 4-244(13)]

Q: How long may an obviously intoxicated person remain in the bar?

A: Thirty minutes from the time the state of intoxication is known or should be known to the licensee or employee of the licensee. This allows time for a sober person to arrive at the premises and drive the intoxicated person home. [A.R.S. 4-244(14)]

Q: Must an employee list be posted in an on-sale licensed establishment?

A: No. But it must be current and available if requested by law enforcement. [A.R.S. 4-119]

Q: When may the front doors of a licensed establishment be locked?

A: When all persons other than the licensee and his employees on duty have left the premises or if a holder of a club license has been granted permission by the director. [A.R.S. 4-228]

Q: Is it legal for a restaurant with a Series 12 license to offer alcoholic beverages as part of its off-the-premises c catering operation?

A: No. A restaurant license permits the sale and service of alcoholic beverages for consumption only on the licensed premises. [A.R.S. 4-205.02(c)]

Q: How many drinks may I serve to a person at one time?

A: The law no longer defines this limit at the number of drinks, but the amount of liquor served. It is unlawful for an on-sale retail licensee or employee to conduct drinking contests, or sell or deliver to a person an unlimited number of spirituous liquor beverages during any set period of time for a fixed price, to deliver more than thirty-two ounces of beer, one liter of wine or four ounces of distilled spirits in any spirituous liquor drink to one person at one time for that person's consumption or to advertise and practice prohibited by this paragraph. [ARS 4-244.23]

Q: Are all Liquor certifications equal?

A: No. With the new online certifications you have no way of knowing the candidate actually took the class and test themselves, or that they actually know the information taught. With in classroom and live virtual classroom training each candidate presents ID so we know they are the ones present before issuing their certification. Additionally we make sure they know the laws before certifying them.

Consultations

Arizona Liquor Training staff are Liquor License Consultants & Trainers, however, our team also has expertise in Food Sanitation, Security, HR employment, Safety Regulations, and many Compliance Issues. Consultations, private audits and investigations available.

FAQ's About Our Liquor Training Classes

Q: Is Discovery approved to grant certification proving liquor class completion for licensing?

A: Yes. We are certified and approved by ADLLC to grant a signed certificate to be turned in to ADLLC for liquor licensing, or to be given to anyone as proof of completion for employment, insurance, compliance, or any other purpose.

Q: When do I get my ADLLC Liquor Law Training Certificate?

A: When you successfully complete our class.

Q: Do all my employees need to get certified in a liquor law class for Basic Liquor law?

A: Yes, it is advisable since you are responsible for your employees actions in the handling of spirituous liquors.

A licensee shall ensure that the licensee, manager, managing agent, any controlling person, any employee who serves, sells, or furnishes spirituous liquor to a retail customer, and any individual who will be physically present and operating the licensed business completes a liquor law training course that is approved by the department under R19-1-216 at least once every five years. The word SHALL in legal terms means you MUST. It is a command.

Q: What is a VIRTUAL CLASSROOM?

A: A virtual classroom is where you join our live classroom using a computer, web cam and a microphone. You are able to fully interact with your instructor and other classmates both in classroom and virtual. We can have up to ten virtual students at a time. We have a camera on our instructor and two cameras on the classroom students, so you really do join the class.

The instructor and other students can see you in what we call a POD on our 55" flat screen TV in the classroom. The interaction is real time with no lag or canned content. With our VIRTUAL CLASS you can take our class and receive the best training available from any part of the state, without wasting extra time on travel or the extra expense of travel and lodging.

Q: Is there an extra charge for virtual classroom?

Yes there is a $30 charge per class, because virtual has extra administration time we do to set you up for the Virtual Classroom format. You will be able to select this add-on as an option in our shop, when you check-out online.

Q: How long will I be in class before completion and certification?

A: Completion means when our certified instructor believes all attendees understand the mandatory material for certification. We try to complete by the four or six hour minimums set in law, but these are minimum class times; we rarely go more than a half an hour to an hour overtime, including time spent on breaks and the working lunch.