Each of the 50 states has unique aspects. One of these unique aspects is the state’s approach to alcohol laws, and Nevada is no exception. What do Nevada’s beer and alcohol laws look like in 2023?
Compared to most states, Nevada has very lenient alcohol laws. In Nevada, you can buy beer from on or off-premise retailers all day every day. You can buy beer, wine, cider, and liquor from any licensed retailer from package stores to gas stations. Both alcohol delivery and growlers are legal in the state.
There are many more layers to a state’s alcohol laws. Let’s go over the most important such as the rules surrounding alcohol sales.
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Is Nevada a dry state?
To be a dry state Nevada would have to outlaw or heavily restrict the sale of alcohol. Being the home of Sin City, Nevada couldn’t possibly be a dry state.
Nevada is not a dry state. There are no dry states in the U.S.
However, most states allow their cities and counties the power to vote on whether they are wet or dry.
Does Nevada have any dry counties?
Although Nevada does not give its localities the power to decide their dry status, there is one dry locality in the state.
Nevada has one dry town. Panaca, Nevada does not allow any alcohol sales within the city limits.
The town was founded in Utah but became part of Nevada in 1866. Because of this, the town’s dry status was grandfathered into Nevada’s laws.
When can you buy beer in Nevada?
Typically, wet states still place a few restrictions on alcohol – specifically the hours it can be purchased. Nevada, however, places no such restrictions.
You can buy a beer at on and off-premise retailers 24/7 in Nevada. There are no time restrictions in the state laws.
The state of Nevada does not have a governing body that regulates alcohol retailers.
Can you buy beer on Sunday in Nevada?
Several states still have Blue laws that outlaw or restrict the sale of alcohol on a Sunday. Nevada doesn’t have any such restrictions.
You can buy beer at any time on Sunday in Nevada.
The good times don’t have to stop because it is a particular day of the week or a holiday. There aren’t any alcohol sale restrictions on holidays in Nevada.
When do bars close in Nevada?
Since there are no hourly restrictions on the sale of alcohol, you don’t have to worry about closing time.
Bars in Nevada are not required to close at a certain time. However, this does not mean every bar will be open 24/7.
Some bars will close due to staffing limitations or during hours that aren’t profitable. That said, there are plenty of 24-hour bars in Las Vegas.
Where can you buy beer in Nevada?
Another way that states can restrict alcohol sales is by limiting where you can buy some types of alcohol. Luckily, the home of Sin City is rather relaxed on this matter.
The places you can buy beer in Nevada include:
- Bars and restaurants
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Package and liquor stores
- Breweries and taprooms
Each type of location still has its regulations, however. I’ll go over each one in the sections below.
Bars and restaurants
Nevada bars and restaurants can sell alcohol 24/7. Alcohol sales are primarily for on-premise consumption. Off-premise consumption includes growlers and alcohol to go.
Since drinking is legal in public, you can take your drinks out of the bar or restaurant with you. Of course, the retailer will want to keep any glasses your beer was served in. They will usually transfer your drink to a plastic cup if you want to leave.
Nevada gas stations can sell beer, wine, and liquor any day of the week, 24 hours a day. All sales must be for off-premise consumption. Additionally, all alcohol must be in the original packaging.
If you purchase a sealed container of alcohol, you can’t consume it within 1000 feet of the retailer.
Grocery stores in Nevada can sell beer, wine, and liquor 24/7. All sales must be for off-premise consumption. All alcohol must be sold in its original packaging.
As with gas stations, you can drink in public as long as you don’t drink within 1000 feet of the retailer.
Package and liquor stores
Nevada package and liquor stores can sell beer, wine, and liquor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
All sales are for off-premise consumption. Liquor stores can sell and fill growlers if they have the equipment.
Breweries and taprooms
Breweries and taprooms in Nevada can sell alcohol 24/7.
Sales may be for both on and off-premise consumption. Growlers can be sold and filled with a few regulations.
Can you get beer delivered in Nevada?
If you don’t want to go out for alcohol you’ll be relieved to know that alcohol deliveries are legal and easier than ever.
You can get beer delivered in Nevada with a few regulations. They include:
- Deliveries must be signed for by an individual 21 or older
- Proof of age must be shown
- Deliveries may be completed by licensee employees or third parties
What is the minimum drinking age in Nevada?
The legal age to drink alcohol is consistent across the United States.
The minimum drinking age is 21 in Nevada.
However, there are a few legal exceptions that some states recognize.
Can minors drink beer in Nevada with parents?
The most common exception is when minors drink with their parents. You may be wondering if 18-year-olds can drink with their parents in Nevada.
In Nevada, minors can drink if they are in a private residence with parental or guardian approval. Spouses who are above the legal drinking age also count towards this exception.
Though this exception is recognized by Nevada, the minor can still get in trouble if they leave the private residence while intoxicated.
State alcohol laws
Each state has its peculiarities when it comes to alcohol laws. Some are overly strict while others are overcomplicated. Nevada is unique in a couple of ways.
Nevada’s alcohol laws are almost non-existent. Aside from some organizational laws and required licensing, retailers are not regulated as much as in other states. Nevada does not have an alcohol beverage control body like most states.
What laws the state does not specify, localities can set. So there is much overall consistency throughout the state with a few varied regulations. The state only manages taxes in relation to alcohol. Licensing specifics are up to the locality.
Drinking laws in Nevada
It is Nevada’s approach to drinking laws that draws many to Las Vegas.
Nevada is one of the most relaxed states when it comes to drinking laws. Drinking in public and public intoxication are legal. However, the state does draw some lines to protect its residents.
While public intoxication is legal there are certain related acts that are still illegal. For example, relieving yourself in public or disturbing the peace. Not to mention that driving drunk is always illegal.
Can you buy growlers and other unsealed beer containers in Nevada?
Growlers are not explicitly mentioned in the state laws. This leaves the matter up to Nevada localities.
You can buy and have growlers refilled in Nevada. Growlers are commonly restricted to beer or cider.
It is important to only bring clean growlers to be refilled. Some places that fill growlers may be quite particular about what growlers they will fill.
Growlers commonly fall into the open container category. If you want to take that growler home without worrying about the law you need to know its requirements.
In Nevada, you cannot have an open container in the passenger area of a vehicle. While the law does not explicitly provide this exception, storing open containers in the trunk is a safe call.
There are a few common exceptions that Nevada recognizes. Passengers in commercial transport vehicles such as limos and taxis are allowed to have an open container. Additionally, passengers in the living area of a motor home are okay.
As mentioned above, and as common sense would imply, driving while intoxicated is illegal in Nevada.
Nevada law provides legal limits for drivers depending on their age and the class of vehicle. The associated penalties are also dependent on age and circumstance.
Under 21 years old
The legal limit for drivers under 21 years old is 0.02 BAC in Nevada. The penalties for the first conviction can include:
- License suspension for up to 90 days
- Alcohol education course
Any minor with a BAC of 0.08 or higher can face the full penalties of a DUI. This is due to Nevada’s Zero Tolerance policy.
21 years and older
The legal limit for drivers 21 years and older is 0.08 BAC in Nevada. The penalties for the first conviction can include:
- Jail time of at least 2 days and up to 6 months
- Or community service for 48 hours to up to 96 hours
- Fine of at least $400 up to $1,000
- License suspension up to 185 days
There are further penalties for subsequent convictions and if the BAC is above 0.18.