Independence Day 2021: Are You Allowed to Buy Alcohol on the Fourth of July?

by Emily Morgan
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For many, celebrating America’s birthday looks like fireworks, grilling out, and having a cold beverage of your choosing. However, for those over 21 looking to celebrate the fourth of July with alcohol, you may have some roadblocks ahead. 

For this year’s Fourth of July, the holiday does fall on a Sunday, meaning you may have issues purchasing alcohol. 

Many states and local governments currently uphold different laws when it comes to alcohol sales. Specifically, some states will not allow customers to purchase alcohol on the holiday and Sundays. However, some of those laws have changed in recent years. 

 As for Tennessee, the state didn’t start allowing liquor sales on Independence Day until 2018. Alabama residents will be able to purchase alcohol for the first time on the holiday. 

In 2014, the Washington Post reported six states where the local government banned alcohol sales on July 4. Those states included Utah, Montana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. However, those states’ laws have changed since the article was published seven years ago. 

Tennessee allowed liquor sales on July 4 for the first time, beginning in 2018. Additionally, current laws in Tennessee permit residents to buy alcohol on Labor Day and New Year’s Day. In January of this year, legislators brought up a bill to add Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter to the list, according to Fox17

As for Utah, it is now legal to buy alcohol on July 4. However, there’s a catch: only state-controlled stores are open. They can only sell alcohol over four percent ABV. You also have until 10 p.m. local time to purchase alcohol— which doesn’t include kegs. Montana also now allows alcohol sales on the holiday. 

Some States Alter Laws Allowing Alcohol Purchases on the Fourth of July

In the northeast, Pennsylvanians will be happy to know that they can also buy alcohol on the fourth. However, they don’t have to go to state-operated stores. Down south, North Carolina has a 15 percent ABV limit on the holiday. If sold at a liquor store, Oklahoma’s law requires four percent ABV or higher alcohol. It also must be at room temperature.

In Alabama, some dry counties have “wet” cities where you can purchase alcohol. Those cities include Good Hope and Cullman. Both cities will be allowed to sell alcohol for the first time on Sunday beginning on July 4, per AL.com

The new change could also help attract customers to restaurants, further boosting the local economy. “It also helps the businesses we already have,” Susan Eller of the Cullman Economic Development Agency told AL.com

“In Cullman, our local restaurants were hit with COVID-19, and some had to shut down for longer than they’d anticipated. They really worked to find ways to retain their sales during that time, and when they finally did open up again, they faced an employment issue with being adequately staffed. We’re hoping that, by giving them an extra day, it will help them see some additional profit.”

Outsider.com