Tennessee Alcohol Beverage Commission Rules, Regulations & Contact Information.
Tennessee Alcohol Rules and Regulations.
TCA-57-2-101. “Intoxicating liquors” and “intoxicating drinks” defined
(a)”Intoxicating liquors” or “intoxicating drinks,” means and includes alcohol, spirits, liquors, wines and every liquid
or solid, patented or not, containing alcohol, spirits, liquor or wine, and capable of being consumed by human
beings; this does not include or relate to the manufacture of any beverage with alcohol content of eight percent (8%)
or less by weight.
Local Beer Boards regulate the sale of beverages containing an alcohol content of 8% or less by weight (or 10.1% by
volume). Please consult local ordinances in your area for further information. The increase was effective Jan 1, 2017.
1. Required Signs and Postings Any person, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity holding an on-premise
consumption liquor-by-drink license issued under Chapter 4 of Title 57, shall prominently display and post, and
keep displayed and posted, in the most conspicuous place in the licensed premises, the license so issued.
Both retail and on premise licensee’s shall post, in a prominent place easily seen by it’s customers, a warning sign
supplied by the Alcoholic Beverage Commission which states:
THE CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES DURING PREGNANCY CAN CAUSE BIRTH DEFECTS,
INCLUDING FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME AND FETAL ALCOHOL EFFECTS.
Minimum penalty for sign not properly posted is $150.00.
There are no laws about serving pregnant women. If there were, your establishment would have to give a pregnancy
test to every woman ordering a drink. If any server has a problem with serving a pregnant woman, speak with a
manager, without comment or action to the guest.
2. Firearms Any authorized person who is not consuming beer, wine or any alcoholic beverage can carry a firearm
into a restaurant that is open to the public and serves alcoholic beverages. This must be a place with an actual
kitchen that serves meals regularly at least once per day 5 days per week. If a business chooses to not allow
weapons on the premises, the owner/manager must post a sign plainly visible to the average person entering the
building, premises or property and shall contain language substantially similar to the following:
Pursuant to §39-17-1359, the owner/operator of the property has banned weapons on this property, or within this
building or this portion of this building. Failure to comply with this prohibition is punishable as a criminal act
under state law and may subject the violator to a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00).
3. Hours No licensee shall permit alcoholic or malt beverages to be consumed on the licensed premise between the
hours of 3 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Monday through Saturday or between the hours of 3 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Sunday.
LOCAL ORDINANCES dictate whether an establishment can serve at 10 a.m. or 12:00 p.m. on Sundays. If someone
does not know the local ordinance in their area, they will need to contact their local government to be sure.
4. Employee Activities Restricted (“B-Girl” Activity) – It shall be unlawful for any person who is an employee of
an on-premise licensee or any other person on behalf of the on-premise licensee to solicit alcoholic beverages or
distilled spirits for public consumption by the employee or any other person, and it shall be further unlawful to
dispense or consume any beverage under the pretense that it is an alcoholic beverage or distilled spirit for public
consumption but is not. However, nothing in this section shall preclude an industry member and/or its employees or
representatives from promoting products as permitted under 0100-3-.11.
5. Open Container Law No driver shall consume any alcoholic beverage or beer or possess an open container of
alcoholic beverage or beer while operating a motor vehicle in this state. Class C misdemeanor. BEWARE.
Consumption of alcoholic beverages by passengers may be prohibited by municipal ordinance or county
6. Wine No licensee may sell any wine or other beverage alcohol in any sealed or unsealed package for consumption
outside the premises. However, a restaurant with a liquor license may permit a consumer who purchases an
unsealed package of wine in connection with a food purchase and consumes a portion of the wine on the premises to
remove the partially filled package from the premises provided it is re-corked securely.
No licensee shall give away any such sealed package or any drink of wine or alcoholic beverage to any patron or
customer; provided, that any hotel licensed under this chapter may include four (4) seven hundred fifty milliliter
(750 ml.) complimentary sealed package of wine or alcoholic beverages which must have all appropriate taxes paid
7. Tennessee Dram Shop Law makes it so servers, bartenders, managers and establishments, can be held liable
and ordered to pay a judgment to a person who has suffered personal injury or death if a jury finds beyond a
reasonable doubt that the sales by such person of the alcoholic beverage or beer was the proximate cause of personal
injury or death sustained and that such person:
a. Sold the alcoholic beverage or beer to a person known to be under the age of twenty-one (21) years and such
person caused the personal injury or death as the direct result of the consumption of the alcoholic beverage or
beer so sold; or
b. Sold the alcoholic beverage or beer to a visibly intoxicated person and such person caused the personal injury or
death as the direct result of the consumption of the alcoholic beverage or beer so sold.
This law creates civil liability for selling/serving alcohol to persons causing injury. The Tennessee General
assembly has found that the consumption of alcoholic beverage or beer, rather than the furnishing of alcoholic
beverage or beer is the proximate cause of injuries inflicted upon another by an intoxicated person.
8. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) It is unlawful for any person to drive or to be in physical control of any
automobile or other motor driven vehicle on any public roads and highways of the state, or on any streets
or alleys, or while on the premises of any shopping center, trailer park or any apartment house complex, or
any other premises which is generally frequented by the public at large while:
a. Under the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, narcotic drug, or drug producing stimulating effects on the
central nervous system: or b. The alcohol concentration in such person’s blood or breath is eight hundredths of
one percent (.08%) or more.
9. Underage Driving While Impaired A person age sixteen (16) or over but under twenty-one (21) may not drive
or be in physical control of an automobile or other motor driven vehicle while:
a. The alcohol concentration in the person’s blood is more than two hundredths of one percent (.02%);
b. Under the influence of alcohol;
c. Under the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, narcotic drug, or drug producing stimulating effects on the
central nervous system: or
d. Any combination above which makes the person’s driving ability impaired. Class A misdemeanor.
Penalties include suspension of license, fines, and community service.
10. Sales to Minors Selling to ANYONE UNDER the age of TWENTY-ONE (21) is a crime. The legal age to
purchase or consume alcohol is twenty-one (21) years of age. Anyone who sells, furnishes, disposes or gives,
or causes to be sold, furnished, disposed of, or given, any alcoholic beverage to any person under Twenty-one (21)
years of age commits a Class A misdemeanor. Server Permit can be revoked.
Any person under the age of twenty-one (21) who purchases, attempts to purchase, receives, or has in such person’s
possession in any public place, any alcoholic beverage, commits a Class A misdemeanor.
The TABC has no regulation for Liquor by the Drink establishments on proper carding. The rules simply state you
cannot sell alcohol to a minor. Most establishments have a POLICY that all guests must be carded. Please check with
your manager about your company policy.
Things to know about TN Driver’s Licenses
TN Driver’s License Changes:
• As of January 1, 2016, Tennessee licenses for persons over the age of 21 expire every eight years from the
date of issuance.
• Effective January 1, 2013, persons age 60 or older having a non-photo driver license issued December 31,
2012 or prior to that date, are permitted to retain the non-photo driver license. Applicants who attain age
60 on January 1, 2013 or after, will not qualify for a non-photo driver license based on age only.
•Military Personnel – If a person holds a valid Tennessee license and is in the United States Armed Forces,
that license shall remain valid regardless of the displayed expiration date as long as:
1. the person remains on active duty; and
2. is based outside the State of Tennessee, and
3. the license is not surrendered, canceled or suspended.
Code 30 allows Military Personnel to have a DL containing all “0” zeros for an expiration date.
11. False Identification, Confiscating Identification Exhibiting False Identification is a Crime. Any person under the
age of twenty-one (21) years who knowingly makes a false statement or exhibits false identification to the effect
the licensee is twenty-one (21) years or older to any person engaged in the sale of alcoholic beverages for the purpose
of purchasing or obtaining the same commits a Class A misdemeanor. Penalties for violation of this section may
include fines, community service and imprisonment, as well as loss of driving privileges.
The establishment cannot confiscate false identification, but is urged to contact local police or a TABC agent.
12. Happy Hour Rules No licensee or employee or agent of a licensee shall engage in any of the following
promotional practices during the period beginning with 10 p.m., prevailing time, until the time set by law for closing
such licensed establishments:
a. Serve two or more drinks or containers of alcoholic beverages to a consumer at a time.
b. Increase the volume of alcohol contained in any such drink during any calendar week without increasing
proportionately the price regularly charged for such drink.
13. Prohibited Practices No licensee or employee or agent of a licensee shall give away any sealed package, or any
drink of wine or alcoholic beverage. ‘Give” for the purposes of this statute, includes:
a. Offering or delivering any free drink to any person or group of persons;
b. Offering or delivering unlimited drinks for a fixed price if the actual cost of all ingredients, including the alcohol
and all applicable taxes of the drinks actually served exceeds the fixed price charged; and,
c. Awarding any wine or alcoholic beverages as a prize or free drink or encouraging or conducting any game or
contest which involves drinking or uses wine or alcohol as a prize or free drink.
14. Serving Intoxicated Persons, Prohibited Sales. It is unlawful to sell or furnish any alcoholic beverage to any
person who is known to be insane or mentally defective, or to any person who is visibly intoxicated, known to
drink alcoholic beverages to excess or to any person who is known to be a habitual user of narcotics or
other habit-forming drugs. Violation of the section is a Class A misdemeanor.
15. Manager Questionnaire. All managers must complete, have notarized, and submit a manager questionnaire to
the TABC within 7 days of assuming their managerial duties either with a new company or when moving to a new
location within the company.
TENNESSEE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE COMMISSION CONTACT INFORMATION
(Main Office) 615-741-1602 500
Main Office 615-741-1602 500 James Robertson Pkwy 3rd Floor Nashville, TN 37243-0755
Hayword Reed 615-741-7545
Denise Black 615-741-7609
540 McCallie Ave., Suite 341
Chattanooga, TN 37402!
207 N. Boone Street, Room 1200
Johnson City, TN 37604
4420 Whittle Springs Rd., Suite A
Knoxville, TN 37917 !
One Commerce Square
Memphis, TN 38103
40 S. Main St. 4th Floor, St. 415
SATELLITE OFFICES – No permits issued from these offices
US Post Office, Room 405
Columbia, TN 38401-3225
815 South Garden St.
370 South Lowe St. Suite 3
Cookeville, TN 38501
Box 30, 225 Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.
Jackson, TN 38301
Federal Post Office Building
Winchester, TN 37398
200 S Jefferson St., Room 106
Winchester Mailing Address
PO BOX 128
Winchester, TN 37398!