Delaware Alcohol Laws
Where to Buy Alcohol
Retail package stores rather than state-owned ‘ABCs’ sell alcohol in the state of Delaware. They are typically open from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and are open from noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Restaurants serving alcohol and bars serve from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days of the week.
Legal Age for Drinking/Serving Alcohol
You must be 21 years of age to consume alcohol in Delaware or to be a bartender, work in a package store, or otherwise handle, sell, or transport alcohol. You can work in a restaurant serving alcohol at age 19.
Open Container Laws
In Delaware, passengers in a vehicle may consume alcohol, although a driver may not legally drink and drive.
The maximum legal limit for a driver’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent. Over this limit, a driver is considered ‘per se intoxicated’ and this is the only evidence needed to convict for DUI (driving under the influence).
Drivers under the legal drinking age of 21 who are chemically tested for intoxication cannot have higher than a .02 percent BAC or they are subject to DUI penalties.
The requirement for drivers to comply with breath, blood, or urine testing for intoxication falls under ‘implied consent laws,’ which also includes showing a driver’s license and proof of insurance when requested by a police officer. Refusing to comply with chemical testing or having a BAC of .16 percent over the legal limit of .08 percent carries mandatory suspension of the driver’s license for up to a year.
The first DUI conviction carries a mandatory suspension of the driver’s license for 90 days; for the second offense, one year; for the third offense, 18 months.
In Delaware, the driver’s vehicle may not be confiscated as a penalty of DUI conviction. However, an ignition interlock device may be attached to the driver’s vehicle at his or her expense. Alcohol education or treatment/assessment for alcohol abuse can be required for DUI offenders.
Driving Under the Influence is a felony after the fourth conviction in this state.