With 50 states there are 50 different sets of alcohol laws. Whether you live in North Dakota or are just visiting it is helpful to know these beer laws. What do North Dakota’s alcohol laws look like in 2023?
In North Dakota, you can buy a beer 7 days a week from 8 am until 2 am each day. This time frame applies to both on and off-premise retailers. You can also get alcohol delivered and growlers filled in North Dakota.
There are a lot of important rules surrounding alcohol in North Dakota. Below, I will go over the specifics of each retail type as well as what alcohol delivery looks like.
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Is North Dakota a dry state?
There are no dry states in the United States. There haven’t been any states in the US that outlaw or heavily restrict alcohol in over 50 years. The last one was Mississippi.
North Dakota is not a dry state. It does not prohibit or severely restrict the sale or production of alcohol.
While North Dakota is not a dry state, there is the question of whether there are any dry counties or towns. Many states give the power to vote on wet and dry status to their localities.
Does North Dakota have any dry counties?
North Dakota, however, is not one of the states that allow counties or towns to become dry. The state requires that localities permit liquor licenses.
North Dakota does not have any dry counties or towns.
That said, there will be areas in the state with limited or even no options. Just because localities can’t outright outlaw alcohol sales, that does not mean that businesses have applied for liquor licenses in every town.
When can you buy beer in North Dakota?
Though alcohol sales are legal, there are a few hours each day during which they are not. This is one way that a wet state can restrict alcohol without becoming a dry state.
You can buy a beer in North Dakota any day of the week between 8 am and 2 am. This range is the same for all alcohol retailers except for wineries and distillers. These locations can sell alcohol between 8 am and 12 am.
Many other states will use different hours of business for each type of retailer. In this way, North Dakota is more streamlined with the exception of wineries and distilleries.
Localities are allowed to set more restrictive hours than the state. These hours may look slightly different in some counties or towns.
Can you buy beer on Sunday in North Dakota?
Some states have special restrictions on when you can buy alcohol on Sunday. These laws are frequently religiously motivated and are called “blue laws”. Most states that have previously had “blue laws” are slowly phasing them out.
You can buy beer on Sunday just like you would any other day. The hours of sale for alcohol are no different on Sunday.
That said, there are a few days when those hours change. From 6 pm Christmas Eve until 8 am the day after Christmas Day, you can’t buy any alcohol. Additionally, after 2 am on Thanksgiving day, you can’t buy alcohol from an off-premise retailer for the rest of the day.
When do bars close in North Dakota?
When the bars close it’s the end of the night out. It helps to know when this time is so that you can make plans.
The closing time for bars in North Dakota is 2 am. Bar owners can’t allow anyone to drink on the premises after 2:30 am.
This time is the same every day except for the above days.
Where can you buy beer in North Dakota?
The state can also determine where you can buy alcohol. Some states are fairly restrictive on this matter, but North Dakota is comparatively relaxed.
The places you can buy beer in North Dakota include:
- Bars and restaurants
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Package and liquor stores
- Breweries and taprooms
However, each of these retailers has a set of rules they must follow. Below, I will go over the main ones you should know for each retailer.
Bars and restaurants
North Dakota bars and restaurants can sell beer, wine, and liquor any day of the week between 8 am and 2 am. All sales are for on-premise consumption. These locations can offer alcohol shipments, but not as to-go orders.
The state laws do not cover alcohol to-go, but municipalities may allow it.
Gas stations in North Dakota can sell beer, wine, and liquor from 8 am until 2 am every day of the week. All sales must be for off-premise consumption. Alcohol is sold in a separate section and in the original packaging.
North Dakota grocery stores can sell beer, wine, and liquor between 8 am and 2 am every day of the week. All sales must be for off-premise consumption and in the original packaging. Like gas stations, the liquor sales must be in a separate section.
Package and liquor stores
Liquor stores in North Dakota can sell beer, wine, and liquor between 8 am and 2 am 7 days a week. All sales are for off-premise consumption in the original packaging. These retailers can offer shipping.
Breweries and taprooms
North Dakota breweries and brewpubs can sell the beers they manufacture for both on and off-premise consumption. They can do so from 8 am until 2 am every day of the week. The brewery can sell the beer in growlers.
The growlers must be cleaned before refilling.
Can you get beer delivered in North Dakota?
You can get a beer at your home in addition to all of these great places to get a beer. Alcohol delivery is legal in North Dakota. That said there are restrictions.
Alcohol delivery in North Dakota is legal with a few regulations. Some of the most important restrictions include:
- Retailers cannot ship more than the following amounts to one customer per month:
- 27 liters of wine
- 8.5 liters of beer
- 9 liters of liquor
- Deliveries must be completed by a licensed alcohol carrier
- Upon delivery, the customer must provide proof of age and sign for the delivery
What is the minimum drinking age in North Dakota?
In North Dakota and all of the 50 states, you will find that the minimum drinking age is the same.
The minimum drinking age is 21 in North Dakota.
One of the things that is not the same everywhere in the US is whether the state recognizes any exceptions to this law.
Can minors drink beer in North Dakota with parents?
One exception that some states acknowledge is when parents allow their children to drink with their guidance. This exception allows parents to educate their children on the effects of alcohol.
Minors in North Dakota cannot drink with their parents. There is no exception even if both parent and minor are in a private residence.
An individual who breaks the minimum drinking age law may be required to attend an alcohol education course.
State alcohol laws
A state can be categorized into 2 different groups depending on its style of alcohol laws. The first style is called a control state while the second is a license state.
A control state is directly involved in the wholesaling of alcohol in the state and may be involved in retail as well. These states decide what alcohol is allowed in the state as well as the price for products.
A license state manages the laws that cover alcohol. The state does not get directly involved in the retailing or distribution of alcohol.
North Dakota is a license state. It does not control the wholesaling or retail of any alcohol.
Drinking laws in North Dakota
Now that you know when and where you can get a beer you need to know the laws surrounding drinking. These are laws that discourage any combination of alcohol and driving.
North Dakota has relaxed laws regarding alcohol until it comes to drinking. Drinking and driving is punished harshly and surrounding laws discourage any alcohol and vehicle connection.
Can you buy growlers and other unsealed beer containers in North Dakota?
Taking home a jug of craft beer can be a real treat. Unfortunately, in some states, it can be very difficult if not impossible.
Growlers are legal in North Dakota. The options available aren’t as wide as in some states. Growlers can be either 32 or 64 ounces. Only breweries and their brewpubs can fill growlers.
All growlers should be cleaned before being refilled.
As soon as the seal on a growler is broken it becomes illegal to have it in a vehicle. The same goes for any container of alcohol with a broken seal.
It is illegal for passengers and drivers in North Dakota to have any unsealed container of alcohol. An open container must be placed in the trunk of the vehicle or behind the rearmost upright seat (if there is no trunk).
The passengers in the living area of a motor vehicle may possess an open container. The passengers in a commercial vehicle such as a limo are also exempt.
The open container law is one of the first ways that a state attempts to reduce drunk driving incidents. The main way this is accomplished, however, is by enforcing legal limits and penalties for convictions.
North Dakota law determines the legal limit for drivers based on their age. The penalties for the conviction are determined by the age of the driver, the circumstances, and the class of vehicle.
Under 21 years old
The legal limit for drivers under 21 years old in North Dakota is 0.02% BAC. The penalties for a conviction can include:
- License suspension for 91 days
If the individual’s BAC was above 0.07% they will face the full penalties.
21 years and older
The legal limit for drivers 21 years old and older in North Dakota is 0.08% BAC. That limit is lower at 0.04% for commercial vehicle drivers. The penalties for a conviction can include:
- Jail time for up to 30 days
- Fine of at least $500 and up to $1,500
- License suspension for 91 days