Hawaii might seem so far away from all of the rules of the continental United States, but they’re not really. There are still beer and liquor laws to follow. When you visit Hawaii, you should know its alcohol laws in 2023.
In Hawaii, you can get a beer any day of the week, but the specific sales hours are dependent on the county. Off-premise alcohol sales are legal from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. or midnight. On-premise sales are legal from 6 a.m. or 8 a.m. until 2 a.m. unless you’re at a cabaret, in which case it’s until 4 a.m. Alcohol delivery and growlers are also legal.
There is a lot you should know about the alcohol laws of Hawaii. Let’s go over the important ones, like when and where you can get a beer. In addition, I will cover open containers and growlers.
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Is Hawaii a dry state?
In this context, whether or not a state is dry does not refer to its climate. As far as beer is concerned, a dry state is one that outlaws or heavily restricts the sale of alcohol. There are no dry states in the United States.
Hawaii is not a dry state. It does not prohibit or heavily restrict the sale of alcohol.
That said, states often give their localities the power to vote on their wet or dry status.
Does Hawaii have any dry counties?
Hawaii is one of the states that does not allow localities the power to go dry.
There are no dry counties in Hawaii.
The only aspect of alcohol sales that localities can control is the issuance of licenses. The town of Laie is unofficially dry because there are no liquor licenses there.
When can you buy beer in Hawaii?
Only a few states do not restrict when you can buy alcohol. The states that do are usually not incredibly strict with the hours of sale, though some can be.
In Hawaii, you can buy beer for on-premise consumption between 6 a.m. and 2 a.m. in Honolulu, Kaua’i, and Hawai’i counties. On-premise consumption is allowed between 8 a.m. and 2 a.m. in Maui county. Off-premise consumption sale of alcohol is legal between 6 a.m. and midnight in Honolulu county and 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. in Maui, Kaua’i, and Hawai’i counties.
Since the state of Hawaii does not specify hours of sale for alcohol licensees, the counties may set the hours. While close in each county, there are some differences. One similarity is that cabarets can stay open until 4 a.m.
Be sure to look up the hours of sale for the county you’re in.
Can you buy beer on Sunday in Hawaii?
Some states have blue laws that restrict the sale of alcohol on Sundays. Hawaii does not have any such laws.
You can buy a beer on Sunday in Hawaii. The hours of sale are not any different than the rest of the week.
There are also no further restrictions on certain holidays. That said, a business may choose to close on certain days for various reasons.
When do bars close in Hawaii?
Last call usually means the end of the night when out on the town. Some states, however, don’t have a required closing time for bars. Hawaii does, though.
Bars in Hawaii close at 2 a.m. Cabarets can stay open until 4 a.m.
These closing times are consistent throughout the state despite there being some variation on when they may open.
Where can you buy beer in Hawaii?
In addition to regulating when you can buy a beer, states will regulate where you can. Some states will even dictate that you can only buy certain types in certain locations.
The places you can buy beer in Hawaii include:
- Bars and restaurants
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Package and liquor stores
- Breweries and taprooms
These locations all come with their own rules and regulations. Let’s go over the most important ones for each location.
Bars and restaurants
Hawaii bars and restaurants can sell beer, wine, and liquor every day of the week.
In Honolulu, Hawai’i, and Kaua’i counties they can do so between 6 a.m. and 2 a.m. In Maui county, they can do so between 8 a.m. and 2 a.m. Sales can be for on-premise consumption and for delivery.
Bars and restaurants can also fill growlers in Hawaii. Additionally, cabarets have the same opening hours as above but can stay open until 4 a.m.
Hawaii gas stations can sell beer, wine, and liquor 7 days a week.
Their hours for alcohol sales are from 6 a.m. until midnight in Honolulu county and 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. in Hawai’i, Kaua’i, and Maui counties.
All sales must be for off-premise consumption in original packaging.
Hawaii grocery stores can sell beer, wine, and liquor any day of the week.
Alcohol sale hours are between 6 a.m. and midnight in Honolulu county. In Hawai’i, Maui, and Kaua’i counties that time frame is from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. All sales are for off-premise consumption in the original packaging.
Grocery stores can fill growlers if they choose to invest in the equipment.
Package and liquor stores
Hawaii liquor stores can sell alcohol every day of the week.
The hours are from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. if in Hawai’i, Kaua’i, and Maui counties or until 12 a.m. in Honolulu county. All sales are for off-premise consumption in original packaging.
Liquor stores can fill growlers which are the exception to the original packaging rule.
Breweries and taprooms
Hawaii breweries can sell beer, wine, and liquor every day of the week.
The sale hours depend on whether they are selling for off or on-premise consumption. On-premise sales are legal from 6 a.m. or 8 a.m. until 2 a.m. Off-premise sales are legal from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. or midnight.
Breweries and brewpubs can sell and fill growlers. Alcohol delivery is also an option.
Can you get beer delivered in Hawaii?
Alcohol delivery is incredibly convenient. Unfortunately, some states make it more of a hassle than it’s worth. It used to be that many states didn’t even allow alcohol delivery. Luckily, Hawaii allows it.
You can get beer delivered in Hawaii with a few restrictions:
- Upon delivery, the customer must sign for the delivery
- Upon delivery, the customer must show proof of age
- Delivery may be completed by a licensee’s employees or a third-party service
What is the minimum drinking age in Hawaii?
The minimum drinking age is uniform across the 50 states. Hawaii is no exception.
The minimum drinking age is 21 in Hawaii.
However, there are some exceptions that some states acknowledge.
Can minors drink beer in Hawaii with parents?
The most commonly recognized exception is parental guidance. In the states that allow this exception, parents and guardians can give their children alcohol. Usually, the stipulation is that they must be in a private residence.
Minors in Hawaii can drink with their parents in a private area. Parents or guardians must be the ones to provide their minors with alcohol.
Another common exception is religious practices. This also extends to medicinal and educational purposes.
State alcohol laws
There are two basic types of state alcohol laws. Those two are control and license states. Control states are directly involved in the wholesaling of alcohol. Some control states also run state liquor stores.
License states are not as involved. They set basic regulations and manage alcohol licenses. They do not directly control what alcohol enters the state.
Hawaii is a license state. It does not directly control the wholesaling of alcohol. In fact, the state simply sets up the framework for alcohol laws and lets its 5 counties determine the specifics.
This of course leads to some variation in the counties’ alcohol laws as seen above with the hours of sale laws.
Drinking laws in Hawaii
Drinking laws in any state are concerned with public safety. The same is true for Hawaii.
The laws surrounding drinking in Hawaii are designed to discourage drunk driving. A DUI conviction comes with zero tolerance.
There are a few drinking laws and adjacent laws that I will cover below.
Can you buy growlers and other unsealed beer containers in Hawaii?
The best way to take home draught beer is to use a growler. Unfortunately, some states don’t allow growlers. Other states have highly restrictive rules surrounding unsealed containers.
You can buy growlers in Hawaii. Growlers sold by most retailers can’t exceed 64 ounces. Growlers sold by brewpubs have a higher limit of 1 gallon. When refilling a growler, it must be properly sanitized.
After filling the growler should be sealed and tampering should be evident.
Once you break that seal on the growler, it becomes an open container. Any container of alcohol that is not sealed or partially emptied is considered an open container of alcohol.
It is illegal for the driver or passengers of a motor vehicle to have an open container. The open container must be placed in the trunk of the vehicle. If the vehicle does not have a trunk it must be placed behind the rearmost seat.
There are a few exceptions to this law, however. A passenger in a vehicle that is operating as a commercial transport vehicle such as a limo may have an open container. Another exception is the living area of a motor home. The driver may never have alcohol.
The ultimate goal of these laws is to prevent drunk driving incidents. To further that goal, there are penalties associated with driving under the influence.
Hawaii determines the penalties of a DUI conviction on the age of the driver, the circumstances involved, and the BAC of the driver.
The penalties below can be increased depending on the situation.
Under 21 years old
In Hawaii, the legal limit for drivers under 21 years old is 0.02% BAC. The penalties for the first conviction can include:
- Fine of at least $150 and up to $500
- Up to 36 hours of community service
- License suspension up to 180 days
- Alcohol education
Subsequent convictions within 5 years will come with greater penalties.
21 years and older
In Hawaii, the legal limit for drivers 21 years and older is 0.08% BAC. The penalties for the first conviction can include:
- Fine of at least $250 and up to $1,000
- License suspension up to 1 year
- Jail time of at least 48 hours and up to 5 days
- Up to 72 hours of community service
- Alcohol education
Subsequent convictions within 10 years will come with greater penalties.