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Odd Alcohol Laws in California

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Compared to other states, California is pretty generous when it comes to alcohol. You can buy it at practically any grocery, liquor, and convenience store. You can even buy it at retailers like Target and Walmart. You can buy it at nearly any hour of the day, even on Sundays. Soon, last call could be extended from 2 am to 4 am. In other states, alcohol is not sold at all these types of stores, and sales may be prohibited on Sundays. This does not mean Californians turn the other cheek when it comes to alcohol consumption. This state still has plenty of laws that are meant to encourage safe and responsible drinking and curb DUIs.

In fact, California even has some very particular alcohol laws.

  • For stores that sell both fuel and alcohol, the alcohol must be displayed at least 5 feet from the cash register.
  • Homebrewers and winemakers may produce only 100 gallons of product per year. If the household has 2 or more adults, the product allowance per year increases to 200 gallons.
  • Restaurant servers can be cited if they fail to check for proper identification when a patron wants an alcoholic drink. The restaurant owners can get in trouble, but so can the server.
  • If you have a beer growler and would like it filled with a beer other than the one that is labeled on the growler, then that old/ existing label must be covered with a new one that includes the brewery and the name of the beer.
  • Wherever alcohol is sold, employees are barred from wearing clothes that expose the “cleft of the buttocks,” “any portion of pubic hair,” “and any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola.”
  • Anyone driving into California from Mexico can bring up to 1 liter of alcohol duty-free with them.

A final interesting tidbit regarding alcohol and California is that most stores in California will not accept alcohol returns. This however, is not an official state law, but your chances of finding a store that will refund your alcohol purchase are slim.