Alcohol sales, consumption and purchase laws vary from state to state, and Connecticut, like every other state has a specific set of laws to govern beer, wine, and hard liquor sales.
Where to Purchase Alcohol in Connecticut
In Connecticut, you can buy beer in grocery and convenience stores; spirits (the word used for hard liquor like bourbon, whiskey, and Scotch) and wine are available at retail package stores. Restaurants and bars are permitted by law to serve alcohol from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Alcohol cannot be sold anywhere in the state of Connecticut on Sundays or holidays.
Legal Age to Consume and Serve Alcohol
You must be 21 to drink in Connecticut, but only 18 to serve alcohol in a restaurant or work as a bartender or as a clerk in a package store. At the young age of 15, you may work in a grocery store that sells beer.
Open Container Law
Whereas most states allow NO open containers in a moving vehicle, Connecticut is a bit more lenient in that the law does allow passengers to drink alcoholic beverages from open containers.
DUI in Connecticut
The maximum blood-alcohol content (BAC) for Connecticut is .08 percent. If your BAC is over .08%, you are considered ‘per se intoxicated,’ meaning that number alone is sufficient evidence to convict you of a DUI (driving under the influence). As in many states, Connecticut has what is referred to as a “zero tolerance law,” which means that any driver under the age of 21 with a BAC of .02 or above is subject to the same DUI penalties as an adult driver with a BAC of .08.
In Connecticut, any driver with a BAC at .16 above the legal limit or drivers refusing to take a blood alcohol test are subject to harsher punishments including suspension of your driver’s license and jail time.
“Implied consent laws,” which a driver agrees to upon accepting a driver’s license, include showing a driver’s license and proof of insurance upon request from law enforcement and submitting to breath, blood, or urine testing to determine BAC. When a driver refuses to cooperate, penalties can be quite harsh.
In Connecticut, your first DUI offense will result in mandatory license suspension for one year; for the second offense, three years; and for the third offense, the driver’s license is revoked. DUI is considered a felony after the third conviction in Connecticut.
If you or someone you love has committed an alcohol-related offense, please contact a Connecticut criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.