Drinking Age by State

Drinking alcohol is more dangerous for those who are younger and whose brains are still developing. Because of this public health concern, governments have set minimum ages at which people may drink. While the federal government has a legal age for purchasing alcohol, states are free to set their own laws regarding the age at which a person may privately consume alcohol.

Despite this ability by the states, many have decided to adopt a drinking age of 21 at the behest of the federal government. While the federal Constitution does not give Congress the ability to regulate private alcohol consumption, in the 1990s the White House began conditioning federal funds for highways upon states adopting a drinking age of 21. 

While states have adopted minimum drinking ages, exceptions have been carved in state laws surrounding educational purposes, religious services, medical reasons, and with parental, guardian, or spousal consent.

Discover the drinking age by state by scrolling through the data in the charts.

Drinking Law Exceptions by State

Alabama - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

30.3

#32 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.7

#4 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted

Alaska - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family and Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

33.5

#23 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.9

#5 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

No Restrictions

Arizona - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

31.8

#29 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.5

#6 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

No Restrictions

Arkansas - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

27.1

#44 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.9

#7 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

California - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family and Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

34.5

#19 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.6

#8 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

No Restrictions

Colorado - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family and Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

36.2

#12 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.6

#9 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

No Restrictions

Connecticut - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

28

#40 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.6

#10 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

Delaware - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family and Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

40.1

#6 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.7

#11 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted

Florida - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

33.2

#24 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.8

#13 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

Georgia - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family and Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

27.6

#45 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.6

#14 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

Hawaii - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

38.7

#9 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.9

#15 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted

Idaho - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family and Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

26.5

#48 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

2

#1 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

Illinois - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

32.7

#26 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.9

#16 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

Indiana - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

29.5

#36 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.7

#17 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted

Iowa - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family and Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

36.4

#13 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.9

#18 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted

Kansas - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

31

#30 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.6

#19 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Option

Kentucky - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

27.4

#46 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.9

#20 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

Louisiana - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family and Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

36.6

#14 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

2

#2 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

Maine - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family and Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

40.4

#7 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.8

#21 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted

Maryland - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family and Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

25.4

#49 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.6

#22 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

Massachusetts - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

29.6

#37 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.5

#23 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

Michigan - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

31.6

#31 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.8

#24 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

Minnesota - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

35.2

#17 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.5

#25 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted

Mississippi - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family and Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

34.6

#20 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

2.1

#3 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

No Restrictions

Missouri - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

33.7

#25 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.8

#26 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted

Montana - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

48.7

#3 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.6

#27 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

No Restrictions

Nebraska - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

34.1

#21 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.7

#28 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

Nevada - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family and Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

41.7

#5 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.6

#29 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

New Hampshire - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

59.5

#1 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.5

#30 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted in Some Locations

New Jersey - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

28.8

#41 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

New Mexico - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family and Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

34.9

#22 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.8

#31 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

New York - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

27.4

#47 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.6

#32 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted

North Carolina - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

32.7

#27 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.8

#33 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

No Restrictions

North Dakota - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

43.9

#4 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.8

#34 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

Ohio - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

32.2

#28 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.9

#35 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

Oklahoma - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

28.2

#42 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.5

#36 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

Oregon - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family and Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

35.2

#18 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.7

#37 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted

Pennsylvania - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

37.6

#10 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.8

#38 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted in Some Locations

Rhode Island - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

29

#38 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.6

#39 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted

South Carolina - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

30.6

#33 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.9

#40 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

No Restrictions

South Dakota - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

37.6

#11 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.7

#41 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

Tennessee - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

29.9

#39 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.7

#42 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted

Texas - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

36.9

#15 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.8

#43 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

No Restrictions

Utah - Drinking Law Exceptions

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do_not_disturb_on

DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

17.7

#50 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.7

#44 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

No Restrictions

Vermont - Drinking Law Exceptions

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do_not_disturb_on

DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

49.4

#2 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.9

#45 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted

Virginia - Drinking Law Exceptions

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do_not_disturb_on

DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family and Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

30.6

#34 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.6

#46 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted in Some Locations

Washington - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

28.4

#43 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.5

#47 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

West Virginia - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

No exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

30.6

#35 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.8

#48 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Local Options

Wisconsin - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

39.2

#8 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.7

#49 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted

Wyoming - Drinking Law Exceptions

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DRINKING LAW EXCEPTIONShelp

Family and Location exceptions

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONhelp

36.7

#16 in the US

BINGE DRINKING FREQUENCYhelp

1.5

#50 in the US

DISTILLED SPIRIT SUNDAY RESTRICTIONShelp

Restricted