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Arizona Liquor Law Attorney

Before the passage of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, states were free to regulate the minimum drinking age of residents. Even today, many aspects of alcohol law vary from state to state. Alcohol remains a tightly regulated industry, and violations of state and federal laws could land bars and restaurants in legal trouble that requires the services of an Arizona liquor law attorney.

If you are not familiar with Arizona’s drinking laws, we offer this overview. If you or your company have been accused of violating a state liquor law, the attorneys of Boesen & Snow Law can fight for your interests. Our lawyers are well-versed in civil and criminal laws related to alcohol production, transportation, sales, and consumption.

Best Arizona Liquor Law Attorney

Liquor Law Basics

Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control (DLLC) regulates the sale and manufacture of liquor in the State of Arizona. The DLLC is a law enforcement agency that employes many sworn peace officers who have both civil and criminal enforcement powers. In addition to the DLLC, the State Liquor Board decides contested licensing cases and appeals from Department decisions. The board has seven members who are appointed by the governor to serve three-year terms.

Other important tasks include:

  • Maintaining a list of licensees
  • Aiding local law enforcement with investigations
  • Inspecting licensed premises
  • Confiscating falsely labeled, adulterated, or other unlawful products
  • Setting training standards

Arizona is a license state. This means that anyone who wishes to produce, distribute, or sell liquor must have a state-issued license. This is a different system from some that directly control liquor retail outlets and warehouses.

Age Requirements for Liquor Consumption and Sales

The minimum age for selling liquor at an establishment that primarily sells alcohol is 18. The minimum age for selling alcohol in places that do not primarily sell alcohol, such as a grocery store, is 16. A person below the age of 21 can enter a bar if they are accompanied by a parent, spouse, or legal guardian who is of legal drinking age or if they are an employee who is on duty.

Any customer of any age who is asked to provide identification as a condition of being served alcohol must provide an acceptable form of identification:

  • An unexpired driver’s license that includes a photo and date of birth
  • An unexpired armed forces identification card
  • A valid, unexpired passport
  • A valid, unexpired resident alien card

Providing false identification can result in the loss of driving privileges or possibly going to jail with a charge of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

How Do I Sell Liquor in Arizona?

The sale of liquor is regulated by the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses. Once a license application has been made, the wait time varies from 60 to about 100 days. There are strict laws governing where a liquor store can be located. They cannot be built within 300 feet of a school and local zoning laws may also restrict location.

The Department of Liquor Licenses also prohibits anyone who has had their license revoked within one year prior from applying for a new liquor license. There is also a five-year ban for anyone who was convicted of a felony.

Any corporation that renews a liquor license or receives a new liquor license must disclose to the board a list of any officers, directors, and stockholders who own 10% or more of the business. Any liquor licensed business that receives a serious citation for violating a regulation could have its liquor license immediately suspended or revoked. If you have questions about Arizona’s liquor laws, one of our attorneys can provide a legal consultation to ensure that your business remains in compliance with state laws.

Laws Governing the Consumption of Liquor

State laws govern the consumption of liquor. There are no state laws limiting the number of drinks, but the quantity of liquor served is limited. Bars are banned, for example, from conducting drinking contests. Any establishment with a liquor license is prohibited from serving an unlimited amount of alcohol for a flat rate. Consumers cannot buy more than 50 ounces of beer or more than one liter of wine.

No single drink or cocktail can contain four or more ounces of liquor. Bartenders are legally obligated to stop serving anyone who shows signs of intoxication. An employee who knowingly serves alcohol to someone who is intoxicated could potentially face criminal charges or civil liability if the person is injured.

When Do I Need to Hire an Arizona Liquor Law Attorney?

One effective use of legal services is to prevent regulator infractions or other violations that could lead to the loss of your business’ liquor license. If your bar, restaurant, or store is just starting, our attorneys can review contracts, policies, and other important documents to ensure that they are in compliance with state laws. This can prevent future situations where your business faces enforcement that could potentially result in the revocation of your professional license.

There are many situations where your business may need legal services. If a customer is injured and claims that your establishment served them too much alcohol, an experienced customer can work to protect you from monetary damages. Our attorneys are experienced investigators who can closely examine the facts of your case, depose witnesses, view video evidence, and review police records to determine fault. Building a strong case can potentially prevent the plaintiff from going to trial.

If your business is not in compliance with state laws, an attorney can use their understanding of laws and statutes to advise your company on how to come back into compliance with the requisite rules. Government agencies often want to see proof that a business has taken steps to ensure that future infractions do not recur. Our lawyers can review your company’s existing policies to ensure that they are in compliance with state laws and ordinances.

Liquor companies have to deal with many of the same legal liabilities as non-alcohol-related industries. For example, contracts for employees, managers, and contractors should be drafted and reviewed by an attorney to ensure that the legally binding document meets your goals and is compliant with state law. Whatever your legal needs are, the attorneys of Boesen & Snow Law are here to help.

Criminal Offenses

An attorney may also be needed to represent defendants who may have sold liquor to an obviously intoxicated patron who then committed a DUI or other dangerous offense. It is increasingly common across the country to hold businesses accountable for the effects of alcohol they have sold on patrons who commit dangerous or violent crimes.


Q: What Time Can You Buy Liquor in AZ?

A: No establishment can sell alcohol between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. This state law applies to grocery stores, bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and any establishment that serves alcohol. Consumers are restricted from buying during this time, and businesses are barred from selling alcohol. The aim of the law is to ensure consumer access to alcohol while promoting responsible alcohol consumption and the safety of residents.

Q: Can You Buy Liquor in Grocery Stores in Arizona?

A: Yes. Any grocery store can sell liquor in addition to beer and wine. Laws governing whether grocery stores can sell alcohol vary from state to state. Not all grocery stores in Arizona sell alcohol, and many stores focus on selling beer, wine, and liquor over food. Sales of alcohol in grocery stores can begin as early as 6 a.m. seven days a week and must end by 2 a.m.

Q: Does Arizona Have Strict Alcohol Laws?

A: Arizona does not have unusually strict laws regarding the sale and distribution of alcohol. The state does have some of the stricter laws governing public intoxication. Consuming alcohol is generally banned in public areas. Arizona strictly enforces minimum drinking age laws. Anyone found with a fake ID can be charged with a misdemeanor charge, while anyone found driving while drinking can face fines and jail time.

Q: How Is Alcohol Sold in Arizona?

A: Alcohol is primarily sold through retail stores or bars and restaurants. Retail stores could include liquor stores, specialty stores, or grocery stores, among other liquor-selling businesses. Unlike some states, retail stores are not controlled by the state. Rather, the state issues a liquor license to individual stores that authorizes those businesses to sell alcohol.

Schedule Your Arizona Liquor Law Consultation Today

Whether you own or manage a bar, distillery, or distribution service, understanding state laws governing liquor can protect your business from liability. Arizona’s liquor laws are continually evolving, and the services of an experienced law firm can ensure that your company is always in compliance with state laws governing liquor manufacture, distribution, and sales. Our attorneys have helped many clients better understand Arizona’s liquor laws. To schedule your consultation, contact our office today.


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