Alcohol Service Regulations – Wisconsin

Alcohol Service Regulations – Wisconsin

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General Regulations

21 Legal age to consume alcohol
18 Legal age to serve beer
18 Legal age to serve wine and spirits
0.08 Limit for Driving While Intoxicated; Zero tolerance for under 21
YES (limited) Dram Shop liability laws
Not regulated Maximum alcohol per drink, no established limit
Not regulated Number of drinks served at one time, full price must be paid
No Specific Age Recommended age to check IDs; state requires ID check for anyone who looks under legal age to drink

Server Training

Wisconsin currently requires licensees and servers to attend a responsible service class if they have not held a retail license or operator’s license within the last 2 years. The state vocational schools, the Department of Revenue, and the Educational Approval Board approve programs the licensees and servers can attend. Although anyone can train, only students who complete an approved training program can be issued an operator’s and retail license after training.

Acceptable Forms of ID

  • Any State Drivers License
  • Wisconsin ID Card
  • Passport
  • Military ID

ID Confiscation

S.125.039 Civil liability exemption for retaining proofs of age. “No person who holds a license or permit and no employee of such a person is civilly liable for retaining a document presented as proof of age for a reasonable length of time in a good faith effort to determine whether the person who presented the document is an underage person or to notify a law enforcement authority of a suspected violation of S.125.085 (3) (a) or (b).”

Policies Regarding Minors

It is unlawful to serve or sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 21, unless accompanied by parent, guardian, or spouse of legal drinking age. For Class B licenses, underage persons are not allowed into the establishment unless with a parent, guardian or spouse who is at least 21. If principal business of the establishment’s total sales is from food, unaccompanied underage persons are allowed for dining only but may not be in the barroom. There are exceptions to these restrictions. Persons under the legal drinking age are allowed to consume alcohol in the presence of their parents, guardians, spouses of legal drinking age either on or off a Class B (on sale) licensed premise.

Liquor Liability

Following is a list of possible penalties for serving or selling alcohol to an underage person:
First Offense – up to $500 fine;
Second Offense – up to $500 fine and/or 30 days in jail if a previous violation has occurred within 30 months of the violation;
Third Offense – up to $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail if the previous two violations occurred within 30 months of the violation.
The penalty for serving someone who is visibly intoxicated is a $100-500 fine and 60 days in jail. Licenses may also be revoked. Liability may be regulated by municipal ordinance.

Non-Alcoholic Beer and Wine

Not regulated

State Contact Information

Wisconsin Department of Revenue
Alcohol-Tobacco Enforcement
2135 Rimrock Road Madison, WI 53713

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This information has been provided to us by the regulating agency and is believed to be correct. However, laws and regulations may change at any time, and the information provided should not be relied upon in place of official documents. For more information or clarification, consult the regulatory body for this jurisdiction directly.