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Tennessee Alcohol Laws

What You Need to Know Before Drinking in Tennessee

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Updated May 28, 2014
If you are new to Tennessee (or just newly of drinking age), you may have questions regarding the state's rather prohibitive alcohol laws. While the following information is not a thorough examination of Tennessee's alcohol laws, nor should it be taken as legal advice, it is an easy to understand overview of many of the laws that regulate alcohol purchase and consumption in the state of Tennessee. These laws were accurate at the time of this writing but are subject to change.

    General Regulations
  • The legal drinking age in Tennessee is 21. In other words, you must be 21 years or older to legally purchase or consume any alcoholic beverage in the state.
  • In Tennessee, you are considered legally drunk and unable to drive when your blood alcohol concentration is .08%.
  • Beer (and other malt beverages like Smirnoff Ice or wine coolers) are the only alcohol products available in grocery or convenience stores. Wine and liquor can only be purchased in a liquor store or by the drink in a bar or restaurant.
    Hours of Availability
  • Beer may be purchased at grocery stores, convenience stores, and gas stations on Monday - Saturday from 6:00 a.m. until 12:00 midnight; on Sunday from 12:00 noon until 12:00 midnight.
  • Wine and liquor may be purchased from a liquor store on Monday - Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. Liquor stores are closed on Sundays.
  • All alcoholic beverages sold by the drink in bars and restaurants are legally available on Monday - Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 a.m.; on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 a.m.

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