Minnesota Regulations on Minors in Bars

By Beverly Bird - Updated December 14, 2018
Bartender making a cocktail

If you live in Minnesota and you’re counting down the days until you can walk into a bar and buy your first legal alcoholic beverage, don’t do it at the stroke of midnight on your 21st birthday. Under Minnesota law, you’re still a minor until 8 a.m. on the 21st anniversary of your date of birth. Minors can enter bars in the state under some circumstances, but can’t drink.

When and Where You Can Drink

As a minor, Minnesota law allows you to drink alcohol in your parents' presence, but not in a bar. You can’t even drink in a private residence unless the location is your parents' home. You can enter a bar without drinking if you work there, want to have a meal there, or to attend a social gathering if it takes place in an area of the building where liquor isn’t sold. If you break the rules, you’re subject to a minimum fine of $100. Adults who knowingly contribute to violations of the state’s liquor laws can be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Proof of Age

Minnesota liquor establishments can accept a driver’s license, a state ID card, a military ID or a passport as proof that you are of legal drinking age. Your ID must include a photo.

About the Author

Beverly Bird is a practicing paralegal who has been writing professionally on legal subjects for over 30 years. She specializes in family law and estate law and has mediated family custody issues.

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