Indiana state laws about your wedding bar

Today we need to talk about a serious and non-sexy topic: your bar at your wedding and bartenders. We’ve touched before on some drinking issues, but this post is specifically to cover the laws and what is important for you to know as a guest, wedding party member, or family attending a wedding.

We’ll concentrate on the laws of Indiana, however, the laws are pretty similar state-wide with a few different nuisances.

Here are the laws:

  1. Excise Police encourage requiring identification from anyone appearing under 26 years of age when making sales for on-premise consumption. Acceptable forms of identification are picture IDs, including but not limited to, a driver’s license, state-issued ID card, US Government identification. REMEMBER: If you still question the age of the person you should refuse to serve them.

Let’s discuss: This means, that whether you are a family member, guest, or in the wedding party if you are over the age of 21, you must carry a legal, picture ID with you and on your person. Being a bridesmaid and not having a little purse with your driver’s license won’t cut it. The bride’s father cannot vouch for you. The caterer with the liquor license will be subject to a minimum of $500 fine and/or higher if caught serving a minor.

2. It is a criminal offense to sell or furnish alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person. In addition, the provider may experience civil liabilities if death or injury, even to a third party, occurs as a result of the act.

So, let’s be kind to bartenders who have to cut off Uncle Harry, who is drunky-drunkerson.

3. Minors (those under 21 years of age) need to know that, in accordance with Indiana Code 7.1-5-7-7, it is illegal to knowingly:

  • Possess alcohol
  • Consume alcohol
  • Transport alcohol on a public highway when not accompanied by at least one of his/her parents or guardians.

No more discussion needed. Source.

If you don’t believe the excise police make random checks at restaurants, bars, liquor stores, sporting events, AND weddings, then check out Indiana violations that are clearly listed here. There are event venues where we plan weddings and corporate events that are often visited, very discreetly by Indiana excise police.

Take away:

  1. Remind your wedding party to bring their driver’s license to the reception.
  2. Don’t get upset with your caterer or bartender when they cannot serve someone who doesn’t have proper identification. They are not trying to be difficult. They don’t want to pay fines or potentially lose their license (too many infractions).
  3. Consider hiring a sheriff to be on-site. Many venues require it.
  4. Finally, some people just need to be cut off from the alcohol and turned over to a responsible, sober person to take them home.
feature photo credit: equinox photography

3 thoughts on “Indiana state laws about your wedding bar”

  1. Can you speak at all to Indiana liquor laws regarding purchasing your own liquor, beer and wine and then paying a licensed bartender to serve it? I’ve heard recently that laws have changed and that this is no longer allowed. But I can’t find any information about that from an actual reliable source. I’ve searched all over the internet to find out what Indiana’s actual liquor laws are but I can’t find details anywhere–only brides posting on websites parroting whatever someone else told them the law is. I’d appreciate any guidance you can give. Thank you, Megan

  2. Megan, thanks for your question, but I need you to be more specific. Are you asking about serving liquor/beer/wine at a private residence? Or at a facility that allows you to bring in your own licensed bartenders?

    I haven’t heard these rumors. We have some venues who are allowing beer/wine to be served with licensed bartenders. If you want liquor you need to acquire a temporary permit. However, no sales can be done, hosted bar only.

    The best and only place to get your Indiana liquor laws questions answered is here: Find your local Indiana state excise police district and speak with them directly.

    Would love for you to follow up with your feedback and what you found out.

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