Beer laws are primarily determined by each state in the US. This means there are 50 different sets of alcohol laws that affect when and where you can buy a drink. What do those laws look like in Arkansas?
In Arkansas, you can buy beer every day in wet counties. Alcohol can be purchased for off-premise use from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Sundays. On-premise use is allowed from 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Alcohol delivery and growlers are available.
Read on to learn more about Arkansas’s beer laws in 2022. I will go over the dry counties, alcohol sale hours, where you can buy alcohol, as well as other alcohol-related laws.
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Is Arkansas a dry state?
A dry state is one that prohibits or heavily restricts the sale of alcohol. By this definition, Arkansas is not one. In fact, while there are numerous dry counties, there are no dry states in the United States.
Arkansas is not a dry state. It has a mix of both wet and dry counties within its borders, however.
That said, like all other states, Arkansas does place some statewide restrictions on alcohol sales. Further rules will vary in severity from county to county.
Does Arkansas have any dry counties?
As mentioned above, Arkansas does have dry counties.
In fact, roughly 45% of Arkansas’s counties are dry. These dry counties may allow alcohol sales, but only in specific retailers at certain times. In general, alcohol sales are not allowed.
Of Arkansas’ 75 counties, these 34 are dry:
- Hot Spring
- Little River
- Southern Logan
- Southern Sebastian
Be sure to familiarize yourself with each county’s alcohol laws when traveling through them. Each county will have different regulations for alcohol.
When can you buy beer in Arkansas?
While it is not a dry state, Arkansas does not allow alcohol sales during certain times. This is partially dependent on the nature of the sale. The allowed alcohol sale times will also vary depending on the county.
In Arkansas, you can buy beer for off-premise consumption between 7 a.m. and 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday. On-premise sales are allowed between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Off-premise sales on Sunday are only allowed on a county-by-county basis.
When counties vote to allow Sunday off-premise sales, they can set the hours as well. The timeframe that these sales may be allowed is from 10 a.m. to midnight.
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Can you buy beer on Sunday in Arkansas?
You can buy beer for on-premise consumption on Sunday in Arkansas between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 a.m. If the county allows it, you can buy beer for off-premise use between 10 a.m. and midnight.
Arkansas law holds that Sunday off-premise sales are prohibited until the county or municipality votes to allow it.
When do bars close in Arkansas?
As bars are considered on-premise retailers, they share the hours with other on-premise permits.
Bars in Arkansas close at 2 a.m. Counties can require that bars close earlier.
Where can you buy beer in Arkansas?
You may be wondering if there are restrictions on what types of alcohol you can buy at certain places. The various alcohol permits available in Arkansas dictate the hours and type of alcohol that can be sold. Beer is widely available in wet counties.
In wet counties, you can buy beer in Arkansas at the following places:
- Bars and restaurants
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Package and liquor stores
- Breweries and taprooms
The next sections will detail all of the particulars of alcohol laws surrounding these retailers.
Bars and restaurants
Arkansas bars and restaurants may serve beer, wine, and spirits Monday through Saturday between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. On Sunday they may serve alcohol between 10 a.m. and 2 a.m. These retailers may serve beer on draft, from bottles or cans, and may fill growlers.
Growlers are the only drinks that bars can sell for off-premise consumption. Neither bars nor restaurants can sell growlers of beer on Sunday. Restaurants may also sell sealed drinks for off-premise use if the customer orders a meal with them.
Bars and restaurants may not sell alcohol on Christmas Day or Easter Sunday.
In Arkansas, gas stations may sell beer for off-premise use from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Sunday beer sales are allowed from 10 a.m. to midnight. You can’t buy wine or liquor at a gas station.
Gas stations can only sell beer for off-premise consumption. Gas stations may not sell alcohol on Christmas Day or Easter Sunday.
Arkansas grocery stores can sell beer and wine for off-premise use from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday. On Sunday, they can sell alcohol between 10 a.m. and midnight.
Grocery stores may not sell alcohol on Christmas Day or Easter Sunday.
Package and liquor stores
Package and liquor stores in Arkansas can sell beer, wine, and liquor for off-premise use from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday. On Sunday, they can sell alcohol between 10 a.m. and midnight.
These retailers may offer samples during normal operating hours. However, they may not sell alcohol on Christmas Day or Easter Sunday.
Breweries and taprooms
Arkansas breweries and taprooms may sell beer for off or on-premise consumption from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday. On Sunday, the hours are 10 a.m. to midnight.
Breweries and taprooms must also sell some manner of food. They must also offer tours on the days when they sell beer. No alcohol may be served on Christmas Day or Easter Sunday.
Can you get beer delivered in Arkansas?
Since 2020, most states have opened up alcohol deliveries.
Arkansas allows you to get beer delivered to your door. Restaurants are allowed to deliver up to 32 oz of a mixed drink.
Deliveries must be made to a customer older than 21 years old. Employees of the retailer or third-party delivery services may make deliveries.
What is the minimum drinking age in Arkansas?
The minimum drinking age in Arkansas is the same as across the United States. Arkansas does allow a few exceptions as detailed in the next section.
The minimum drinking age in Arkansas is 21 years old.
Underage drinkers can be subject to a fine of at least $100. However, individuals above 18 may be employed to sell alcohol for off-premise use if given parental consent. Of-age individuals are not limited in this way.
Can minors drink beer in Arkansas with parents?
One common exception to the drinking age is a parent or guardian giving permission.
In Arkansas, underage individuals are allowed to drink if given permission by a parent, guardian, or of-age spouse.
Another exception is a religious ceremony involving alcohol.
Drinking laws in Arkansas
While the freedoms allowed are different from county to county, there is one consistency. Arkansas laws are moderately strict when it comes to alcohol overall.
Violating Arkansas’s alcohol laws will come with strict punishment. However, their rules are fair overall.
In wet counties, there are several laws that don’t restrict alcohol options overmuch.
Can you buy growlers and other unsealed beer containers in Arkansas?
A growler is an unsealed container of alcohol greater than 32 ounces. In several states, they are not allowed for retail use.
You can buy and refill growlers at certain licensed retailers in Arkansas. The license of the retailer determines what they can fill the growler with. Growlers may be bought or filled during regular alcohol sale hours except for Sunday.
Growlers are not allowed for on-premise consumption.
Until recently, the open container laws were more relaxed in Arkansas.
Arkansas open container law makes it illegal to have an open container of alcohol in a vehicle unless it is in a locked glove box or trunk. If the vehicle does not have a trunk, it must be behind the rearmost seat.
One of the exceptions to this rule is hired vehicles that are primarily used to transport people. The other is motor homes and similar vehicles.
Arkansas laws reflect the danger of drinking and driving. The tolerances are low while the punishments are high.
Driving under the influence and drinking while driving is illegal in Arkansas.
The limits and punishments depend on the age of the offender.
Under 21 years old
Simply possessing alcohol when underage is a violation and will result in a fine of at least $100 up to $500. Further punishment depends on the court and the age of the offender. Drinking and driving is a separate consideration.
The legal limit in Arkansas for underage drinkers is 0.02% BAC. A first offense results in a 90-day license suspension, a fine between $100 and $500, 30 days of public service, and a DUI course.
Further offenses will increase the severity of punishments. Additionally, refusing a chemical test will result in additional punishment.
21 years and older
Since drinking is legal at this age, the limits are higher. That said, the punishments are also greater.
The legal limit in Arkansas for of-age drinkers is 0.08% BAC. The first offense will result in a 6-month license suspension, a fine between $150 and $1,000, jail time of at least 24 hours up to a year, and the possibility of an ignition interlock device.
Further offenses within 10 years will be more severe.