Alcohol laws of Oklahoma

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Location of Oklahoma

With the passing of Oklahoma Question 792 in the 2016 general elections, starting October 1, 2018, any establishment with a beer and wine license will be permitted to sell beer of up to 8.99% ABV as well as wine up to 14.99% ABV, under refrigeration.[1][2] This marks a significant relaxation of alcohol laws in Oklahoma. Prior to this date, strong beer (>3.2% ABW) and wine could only be sold at package liquor stores, and only at room temperature.

Minors under the age of 21 are not permitted to possess or purchase alcohol; however, consumption in a “private setting” is not prohibited by Oklahoma law. Minors may not have a blood alcohol level of more than .02%.

History[edit]

When Oklahoma became a state in 1907, the state constitution included the prohibition of alcohol.[3] In 1933 when the Federal government repealed the 18th Amendment, Oklahoma did not ratify the new 21st Amendment and instead approved the sale of beer with the Oklahoma Beer Act of 1933. On April 7, 1959, the legislature voted on House Bill 825, which repealed prohibition and created the Alcohol Control Board, known now as the ABLE commission (Alcohol Beverage Laws Enforcement).[4][5]

Liquor sales[edit]

Under Oklahoma law, it is a felony to provide alcoholic beverages to the "mentally deficient," the intoxicated, and persons under 21 years of age.[6] Although low-point beer may not be sold where unclothed persons or persons with exposed private parts are present on the same premises, alcohol sales are available by the glass if permitted by the county. Conviction of this crime is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 for each offense.[7]

Off-premises[edit]

It is illegal to sell packaged liquor (off-premises sales) on Sundays. With the passage of Senate Bill 211, counties can approve Sunday liquor sales through a special election.[8] Sales also are prohibited on Thanksgiving Day (United States) and Christmas Day.[9] Wine and beer for consumption off-premises may not be sold between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.

People who have been convicted of a felony or any alcohol-related crime may not obtain a license to sell packaged alcohol.[10]

On-premises[edit]

Alcohol may not be sold for consumption on-premises or allowed to be consumed in places licensed to sell alcohol between 2:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. This crime is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to 6 months imprisonment.[11]

Licensed vendors may not advertise happy hours, serve more than two beverages at a time to a customer, give a discount to a person or group of persons, or permit the play of games that involve drinking.[12]

As of June 2018, all 77 counties allow liquor by the drink. The last 14 counties that only allowed private bottle clubs as well as beer taverns and restaurants permitted to sell only low-point beer (3.2% alcohol by weight) voted to go wet prior to new laws that went into effect on October 1 that eliminated low-point beer. Since off-premises sales are allowed in all 77 counties, no dry counties exist in Oklahoma, much like the neighboring state of Missouri, and unlike its neighboring states of Kansas, Arkansas and Texas.

Open container[edit]

In public[edit]

It is illegal to consume or inhale intoxicating beverages in public in Oklahoma. It also is illegal to be drunk or intoxicated in any public place. These crimes are punishable by a fine of between $10 and $100 and between 5 and 30 days of imprisonment.[13] These crimes may cost more as fines to individual cities rather than the state (e.g. Stillwater[14] and Oklahoma City[15]).

Driving[edit]

Opened bottles or any alcoholic beverage with a broken seal may not be stored in an area of the vehicle accessible to the driver.[12] As a result, Oklahoma meets the provisions of the federal Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century for prohibitions of open containers in vehicles.[16]

DUI[edit]

Like every other state in the United States, driving under the influence is a crime in Oklahoma, and is subject to a great number of regulations. It is illegal to drive with a blood or breath alcohol content of 0.08% or more, or while under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance. For any person under 21 years of age, Oklahoma has a zero tolerance policy. The breath alcohol limit for such a person is 0.02%, and any measurable level of alcohol by a breathalyzer is an automatic DUI and driver's license revocation. This crime is punishable by a fine of up $1,000 US dollars and up to 1 year imprisonment after being evaluated by a person certified by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.[17]

Minors, adults under age 21, and alcohol in Oklahoma[edit]

It is a misdemeanor for persons under 21 years of age to give the impression that they are older for the purpose of obtaining alcoholic beverages.[6] Punishment for this crime is a fine of up to $300 and up to 30 days of community service. Furthermore, the driving license of the convicted individual will be revoked for 6 months for the first offense, 1 year for the second offense, and 2 years for all subsequent offenses, alternatively for any offense they can have their license revoked until they reach 21 years of age at the discretion of the judge.[18]

Landowners cannot lawfully permit a person under 21 years of age to consume alcohol on their property. Punishment for this crime is a fine between $2,500 and $5,000 and up to 5 years of imprisonment.[19]

If a minor is pulled over and charged by an officer to be in violation of any alcohol law, a copy of the violation will be mailed to the legal guardian(s) of the child within three days.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Oklahoma State Question 792 passes, changing state alcohol distribution laws". Oudaily.com. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  2. ^ Dishman, David (January 21, 2018). "Big changes for Oklahoma businesses, consumers when alcohol law takes effect Oct. 1". The Oklahoman. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  3. ^ "Prohibition | The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture". www.okhistory.org. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
  4. ^ Writer, Emily Summars Staff. "The history behind Oklahoma's battle with the bottle". Enidnews.com. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
  5. ^ "Oklahoma ABLE Commission - Laws / Rules". www.ok.gov. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
  6. ^ a b "Section XXVIII-5". Oklegal.onenet.net.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-09-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Oklahoma SB211 | 2017 | Regular Session". LegiScan. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
  9. ^ "Section XXVIII-6". Oklegal.onenet.net.
  10. ^ "Section XXVIII-10". Oklegal.onenet.net.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-09-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-09-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-09-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ Bond Schedule Archived 2012-10-14 at the Wayback Machine, Stillwater Police Department. (accessed October 9, 2013)
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-28. Retrieved 2012-10-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "U.S. Department of Transportation - NHTSA - Open Container Laws and Alcohol Involved Crashes: Some Preliminary Data - DOT HS 809 426 - April 2002". One.nhtsa.gov.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-09-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-09-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-09-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-09-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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