Every state has its own alcohol and alcohol sales laws, and South Dakota is no different. The United States government leaves these types of laws up to the individual state, guiding the rules and regulations for sales and consumption. Whether you’re traveling to South Dakota or live there, you should be up to date on the laws for 2023.
In South Dakota, you can buy beer seven days a week. On-premise locations like bars are open from 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. every day. Off-premise locations like liquor stores are open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and from 7 a.m. to midnight on Sundays. Delivery is available at these locations with the proper license. Growlers are illegal.
There are some detailed rules regarding the sale of alcohol in South Dakota. Keep reading to explore the state’s alcohol laws, including when and where to buy beer, as well as growler and open container laws.
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Is South Dakota a dry state?
Dry states prohibit or greatly restrict the consumption or sale of alcohol. There are no dry states in the United States.
South Dakota is not a dry state. The state law permits the sale of alcohol for on- and off-premise consumption. There are some restrictions regarding alcohol sales, but the state still allows the sale of alcohol.
Although South Dakota is a wet state, its counties are able to vote on if they want to be dry.
Does South Dakota have any dry counties?
South Dakota is a state that allows its counties to hold referendums to enforce stricter alcohol laws.
South Dakota has one dry area. Oglala Lakota County, located in the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation, is the only dry county.
You cannot purchase or consume alcohol in Oglala Lakota County. The rest of South Dakota is wet.
When can you buy beer in South Dakota?
The best way for states to limit the sale of alcohol is to restrict the times at which locations can sell it. The state, and often its counties, are allowed to impose restrictions on hours of operations and, therefore, sales of alcohol in specific locations.
In South Dakota, you can buy beer between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. every day from on-premise locations such as bars and restaurants. Off-premise locations can sell beer from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and from 7 a.m. to midnight on Sundays.
The hours of sale are relatively consistent in South Dakota and hardly vary from day to day.
Can you buy beer on Sunday in South Dakota?
In some states, Sunday sales of alcohol are banned for on or off-premise consumption. South Dakota does not place any restrictions on Sunday sales at the state level.
You can buy beer on Sunday in South Dakota. On-premise locations can sell it from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday morning. Off-premise locations can sell it from 7 a.m. to midnight. Local ordinances may provide stricter Sunday sales laws for each type of location.
Individual counties may enforce stricter laws regarding Sunday sales times.
Alcohol sales are prohibited on Memorial Day and Christmas Day.
When do bars close in South Dakota?
Bars usually close at the same time across the state. Some states have laws that prohibit the sale of alcohol one hour or 30 minutes before closing time.
Bars in South Dakota close at 2 a.m. every day.
The 2 a.m. closing time is fairly standard across the country and is meant to protect the public.
Where can you buy beer in South Dakota?
States further restrict the sale of alcohol by only allowing it in certain types of locations. This includes breaking up sales by the type of alcohol.
The places you can buy beer in South Dakota include:
- Bars and restaurants
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Package and liquor stores
- Breweries and taprooms
Each type of location has its own laws and regulations regarding when you can purchase alcohol, and how much. I will detail that information in the sections below.
Bars and restaurants
South Dakota bars and restaurants can sell beer, wine, and liquor Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. These locations are allowed to deliver beer and other types of alcohol with a proper license.
South Dakota requires several different licenses for the sale of alcohol, including one for on and off-premise sales for restaurants and bars that wish to deliver alcohol.
Gas stations in South Dakota can sell beer and wine between 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to midnight on Sundays. All sales are for off-premise consumption and they cannot deliver.
Off-premise sale hours are a little different than on-premise sale hours in that Sunday sales are limited.
Grocery stores in South Dakota can sell beer and wine between 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to midnight on Sundays. They cannot deliver.
Like gas stations, grocery stores have restricted hours for Sunday sales because they are solely off-premise locations.
Package and liquor stores
Package and liquor stores in South Dakota can sell beer, wine, and liquor any day of the week. They’re open between 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to midnight on Sundays. Delivery is available at these locations.
These locations’ hours are the same as grocery stores and gas stations in South Dakota.
Breweries and taprooms
Breweries and taprooms in South Dakota are allowed to operate from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day, although most are closed at least one day a week for manufacturing or packaging days.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a brewery or taproom that’s open during all permitted hours.
Can you get beer delivered in South Dakota?
South Dakota is relatively straightforward in its beer delivery laws. In general, delivery is available, but only from locations that have a specific license.
Alcohol delivery in South Dakota is available from bars, restaurants, and liquor stores. The state requires that these locations have a separate license that permits them to deliver beer to those over the age of 21.
Alcohol delivery is a relatively new concept, but South Dakota has made strides to modernize its laws in this regard.
What is the minimum drinking age in South Dakota?
The minimum drinking age is the same in South Dakota as it is in every state across the U.S.
The minimum drinking age in South Dakota is 21 years old.
It is illegal to consume alcohol if you are under 21, and selling alcohol to anyone underage will result in penalties, except under specific and unique circumstances.
Can minors drink beer in South Dakota with parents?
South Dakota has one of the most lenient laws in the United States regarding selling alcohol to anyone aged 18-20.
In South Dakota, minors can drink beer with their parents, guardian, or of-age spouse at a private residence. Those between the ages of 18 and 20 are allowed to purchase alcohol if they are in the immediate presence of a parent, legal guardian, or of-age spouse.
Minors are also allowed to consume alcohol in South Dakota for religious ceremonies.
State alcohol laws
There is a lot of variation from state to state regarding the sale and distribution of alcohol. These differences, however, can be divided into two different types of regulation–control states and license states.
Control states are states that directly control wholesaling, distribution, or both of alcohol. They also control the structure and licensing of individual businesses. License states let private retailers manage the majority of their alcohol handling.
South Dakota is a license state. Its alcohol laws are maintained at the state level, but private retailers are allowed to handle its sales accordingly, as long as it adheres to the state’s overarching laws.
Although South Dakota still has one dry county, it is up to date with its alcohol laws in that you can buy beer, wine, and liquor any day of the week with an option for delivery.
Drinking laws in South Dakota
Like the rest of the country, South Dakota’s drinking laws remain firm. You can buy beer any day of the week, but you can only buy it at certain times, and different types of sales are prohibited at certain locations.
The drinking laws in South Dakota are designed to protect the public. Driving while under the influence is illegal, growlers are banned and unavailable, and open containers are illegal in civilian vehicles’ driver and passenger areas.
Growlers being unavailable hurts the local craft brewery scene in South Dakota, but these laws might change soon if alcohol delivery and seven-days-a-week sales are any precedents.
Can you buy growlers and other unsealed beer containers in South Dakota?
Some states let you fill up a growler to take home or out of the brewery with you. Unfortunately, you won’t be leaving any South Dakota breweries with a growler this year. How does this tie into the state’s open container laws?
In South Dakota, growlers are banned and are unavailable throughout the state. Breweries are not allowed to fill, sell, package or refill growlers for either on or off-premise consumption.
This could be to reduce the number of open containers in South Dakota and reduce the number of DUIs and alcohol-related incidents throughout the state.
Open containers are regulated in most states, and each usually shares some sort of common ground on the law, including South Dakota.
Open containers are alcohol containers that have the seal completely or somewhat broken. If the seal is intact, it’s not considered an open container.
In South Dakota, open containers are illegal. Violation of this law is a class two misdemeanor and will result in up to a $500 fine and a maximum of 30 days imprisonment.
In South Dakota, exceptions are made to this law in that passengers are allowed to possess open containers in limousines or party buses, and also, if the open container is in a locked glove box, the vehicle’s trunk, or other out-of-reach space that isn’t considered a passenger area.
Open container laws are designed to discourage drinking and driving. Other ways that states hinder driving while intoxicated is by enforcing strict blood alcohol content limits and penalties for exceeding those limits.
The legal BAC for drinking and driving in South Dakota is 0.08%. The penalties for violating this law increase in severity depending on the number of previous offenses limited to five. There is no difference in punishment for of-age violaters and those underage.
South Dakota’s drinking and driving laws are relatively loose compared to some other states in that DUI violations do not increase in severity depending on BAC levels.
Under 21 years old
The legal BAC limit for anyone under the age of 21 is 0.08%.
Those under the age of 21 convicted of a DUI in South Dakota are guilty of a class one misdemeanor and will face a minimum 30-day license suspension.
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drink and drive in South Dakota.
21 years and older
The legal BAC limit for anyone 21 years and older in South Dakota is 0.08%.
Drinking and driving penalties and repercussions are the same for of-age violators as they are those underage; those convicted of a DUI are guilty of a class one misdemeanor and will face at least a 30-day license suspension upon a first violation.
The severity of penalties for DUI increases the more violations you have for drinking and driving, with a fifth offense being considered a class four felony.