Indiana has the same legal powers as the rest of the states, allowing it to set its liquor laws. This results in a wide range of beer laws. What do the beer laws look like in Indiana in 2023?
Whether you live in Indiana or are just visiting, you should know the alcohol laws of the state. Laws can change drastically over time and may look unfamiliar. Let’s get into all of the important rules and regulations.
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Is Indiana a dry state?
Dry states are a call back to the days of Prohibition when alcohol was prohibited across the country. Today there are no dry states.
Indiana is not a dry state. The state government does not prohibit or heavily restrict the sale or consumption of alcohol.
However, since many states allow localities to be dry, there are wet states with dry counties.
Does Indiana have any dry counties?
Indiana’s state laws do not allow any county the power to vote on their dry or wet status.
There are no dry counties in Indiana. There is, however, a city that is mostly dry by custom instead of law.
The town of Shipshewana in Lagrange county does not sell alcohol. This is due to the citizen’s overwhelming desire to keep the town dry. In 2011, a gas station chain attempted to apply for an alcohol permit and was quickly petitioned against by the residents of Shipshewana.
When can you buy beer in Indiana?
Even if they are wet, most states will limit the times you can buy a beer. This includes Indiana. Luckily, Indiana’s alcohol sale hours are simple.
In Indiana, you can buy beer, wine, or liquor between 7 a.m. and 3 a.m. any day of the week at on-premise retailers. Off-premise retailers can sell alcohol between 7 a.m. and 3 a.m. from Monday until Saturday. On Sunday they are restricted to 12 p.m. through 8 p.m.
On-premise retailers include bars and restaurants while off-premise retailers are liquor and grocery stores.
Can you buy beer on Sunday in Indiana?
It used to be that you couldn’t buy alcohol at all on Sunday in Indiana. This has slowly changed. First, it was just bars and restaurants that could sell alcohol and then for a more limited time. Now any place that sells alcohol can open on Sunday.
You can buy beer on Sunday in Indiana between 7 a.m. and 3 a.m. if you go to a bar or restaurant. If you want to buy alcohol to take home you can buy it between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. from a liquor store.
Liquor stores and other off-premise consumption retailers are much more limited in hours on Sunday. There aren’t any restrictions on alcohol sales for holidays or election days.
When do bars close in Indiana?
Bar closing times are determined by the restrictions placed on retailers that are for on-premise consumption.
Indiana bars must close to the public at 3 a.m. every day of the week.
There is no legal requirement to close earlier across the state. That said, bars may close earlier for a variety of reasons.
Where can you buy beer in Indiana?
Aside from when you need to know where to buy alcohol. Some states or counties place restrictions on where you can buy certain types of alcohol.
You can buy beer in all of the following locations in Indiana:
- Bars and restaurants
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Package and liquor stores
- Breweries and taprooms
Indiana does not prevent grocery stores from applying for a liquor license.
Bars and restaurants
Indiana restaurants and bars can sell beer, liquor, and wine every day of the week. Their alcohol sale hours are from 7 a.m. until 3 a.m. the following day. Beers can be sold in bottles, cans, and on draft, though the cans and bottles must be opened by the employees.
Restaurants can also sell alcohol in to-go orders with a few restrictions.
Gas stations in Indiana can sell alcohol between 7 a.m. and 3 a.m. the following day Monday through Saturday. On Sunday the hours they can sell alcohol are limited to noon until 8 p.m. All sales must be for off-premise consumption.
All alcohol sold must be in its original packaging. Gas stations are not allowed to sell cold beer. All beer must be room temp.
Grocery stores in Indiana can sell alcohol 7 days a week. Monday through Saturday they can do so between 7 a.m. and 3 a.m. On Sunday they can do so between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. They cannot sell alcohol for on-premise consumption.
Like other off-premise retailers, grocery stores must sell alcohol in its original packaging. Depending on the license of the grocery store they can provide samples. The sample size depends on the alcohol but. in general. can’t be bigger than 1 ounce.
Like gas stations, grocery stores can’t sell cold beer. It has to be room temp.
Package and liquor stores
Indiana package and liquor stores can sell alcohol between 7 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Mondays through Saturdays. On Sundays, they can sell alcohol between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. All sales must be for off-premise consumption.
These locations are the only off-premise retailers (aside from breweries) that can sell cold beer.
Breweries and taprooms
Breweries and taprooms in Indiana can sell beer between 7 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Mondays through Saturdays. On Sundays, they can sell beer between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. Breweries can sell beer for both on and off-premise consumption.
Breweries are only allowed to sell their own beer. Additionally, they must also sell food, work with a food truck, or provide menus for places that deliver to the brewery. Off-premise sales can take the form of cans, bottles, and growlers.
Can you get beer delivered in Indiana?
Recent years have been great at expanding alcohol delivery options across the United States.
Beer delivery is legal in Indiana with a few regulations:
- The customer must provide proof of age
- Delivery can be performed by the employees of a licensee or a third party
- The licensee keeps records of deliveries made
Deliveries can be made by certain license types such as beer retailers.
What is the minimum drinking age in Indiana?
Though there are various exceptions across the country, the minimum drinking age is the same in each state.
The minimum drinking age is 21 in Indiana.
However, the exceptions are only legal in some states. It is important to always know what exceptions may exist in your current state.
Can minors drink beer in Indiana with parents?
Indiana is one of the states that does not allow any exceptions to the minimum drinking age.
No one under the age of 21 in Indiana is allowed to drink even with a parent’s or guardian’s permission.
There is also no exception for an of-age spouse providing alcohol to their underage spouse. The Indiana laws are very firm on this. Individuals who provide alcohol or allow underage drinking to occur can face jail time and fines.
Drinking laws in Indiana
Most Indiana laws surrounding alcohol are quite stiff and restrictive. On the other hand, there are some relatively generous legal alcohol sale hours.
Many Indiana laws surrounding alcohol are outdated but they have gradually relaxed in recent decades. They are still harsh on those who abuse alcohol and pose a public safety risk, however.
Can you buy growlers and other unsealed beer containers in Indiana?
Growler laws in Indiana are fairly convoluted. Be sure to ask the local breweries what their stance is on growlers.
Growlers are legal in Indiana. Some breweries will only fill growlers with their branding while others will fill any.
When driving home with your growler or another unsealed container you need to know the open container laws.
Indiana laws hold that it is a Class C infraction to have an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. The open container must be in a locked compartment of the vehicle or in the trunk.
Outside of the above areas, there are only two exceptions. A passenger may have an open container if they’re in a vehicle designed for commercial transportation or if they’re in the living area of a mobile home.
Driving under the influence is always a bad idea even if there were no laws outlining punishments.
Indiana has different limits and penalties for DUIs depending on the age of the driver and the circumstances.
Under 21 years old
Since there are no exceptions to the minimum drinking age in Indiana, anyone under the age of 21 who is under the influence has already broken the law before getting behind the wheel.
The legal limit for an individual under 21 in Indiana is 0.02% BAC. A first conviction can come with the following penalties:
- Up to a $500 fine
- License suspension up to 1 year
If the driver’s BAC was higher than 0.08% they can face penalties like those if they were above 21 years old.
21 years and older
At 21 or older the limit is higher, but the penalties for driving while drunk are no lighter.
In Indiana, the legal limit for those 21 or older is 0.08% BAC. A first conviction can come with the following penalties:
- Up to 60 days of jail time
- Up to a $500 fine
- License suspension up to 180 days
- Possibility for an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
All of the above punishments are worse if the driver’s BAC was higher than 0.15%.
Summary of Indiana’s beer and alcohol laws
Indiana allows on-premise retailers to sell beer, wine, and liquor between 7 a.m. and 3 a.m. 7 days a week. Off-premise retailers can sell alcohol between 7 a.m. and 3 a.m. Monday through Saturday. On Sunday, they can sell alcohol between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. Indiana laws allow growlers and alcohol delivery.