4th of July: Can You Buy Alcohol on Independence Day?

The Fourth of July is on Sunday this year, which could limit the places where alcohol is legal to purchase. Many states and local governments have different laws on alcohol sales on the holiday and Sundays, some of which have only changed in recent years. Tennessee didn't start allowing liquor sales on July 4 until 2018. Two cities in Alabama will begin allowing Sunday alcohol sales for the first time ever this weekend.

Back in 2014, the Washington Post reported there were still six states where alcohol sales were banned on July 4: Utah, Montana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, but there have been changes in all these states since that article was published. In 2018, Tennessee allowed liquor sales on July 4 for the first time. Current laws in Tennessee allow residents to buy alcohol on Labor Day and New Year's Day as well. In January, a bill was proposed to add Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter to the list, Fox17 reports.

There have been other updates to state laws since 2014. According to VinePair, it is now legal to buy alcohol on July 4 in Utah, but only state-controlled stores are open. They can only sell alcohol over 4% ABV, and the stores close by 10 p.m. local time. Kegs cannot be purchased. Montana now allows alcohol sales on Independence Day as well. Pennsylvanians can buy alcohol on the holiday, but not at state-operated stores. North Carolina has a 15% ABV cap on the holiday. Oklahoma's law requires alcohol that is 4% ABV or higher to only be sold at room temperature if sold at a liquor store.

Most other states allow alcohol sales, except in dry counties. In Alabama, some dry counties have "wet" cities, where alcohol sales are permitted. Good Hope and Cullman are two cities where Sunday alcohol sales will be allowed for the first time beginning on July 4, reports AL.com. Both cities are located in Cullman County, so officials aren't expecting the move to suddenly boost the economy there. The law could help attract customers to restaurants though.


"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."