What is the Drinking Age in Missouri?
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase or possess alcohol.

What is Minor in Possession?
Minor in Possession is a criminal offense when someone under the age of 21 attempts to purchase alcohol, possess alcohol, is visibly intoxicated, or has a BAC of more than .02%. In short, it is illegal to even appear visibly intoxicated. Minor in Possession is punishable up to a year in the county jail and a fine up to $1000.

Can My Parents Give Me Alcohol?
Parents and guardians are not prohibited by Missouri law from furnishing alcohol to their child in small amounts in their home. If the parent or guardian, however, is purposefully intoxicating their child, it can be considered child abuse. The minor may also be subject to Minor in Possession.

Can Other Adults Buy Me Alcohol?
No! It is generally a criminal offense to provide alcohol to minors. There are limited exceptions for physicians providing alcohol for medical purposes and parents and guardians furnishing small amounts of alcohol.

Can I Work in a Place That Sells Alcohol?
Missouri alcohol laws permit adults 18 or older to serve alcohol to drink on the premises of where it is to be consumed. The law requires that all those tending bar (preparing drinks) to be 21 or older. Adults 18 or older are permitted to sell alcohol in stores that will be consumed off premises (such as a gas station that sells alcohol), but there must be a supervisor on the premises.

What if I Have a Fake ID?
If you use a fake or altered ID to purchase alcohol when you are under 21, you may be charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense. If you are under the age of 17, you may be considered a delinquent child under and subject to the juvenile justice system. Using a fake ID to purchase alcohol may also cause your license to be suspended under Missouri’s Abuse and Lose law.

What Happens if I Drive After I Have Been Drinking?
If you drive after drinking, you may be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). A DWI is a criminal offense and you may lose your license. You will generally be subject to fines and imprisonment. For more information on DWI penalties, see the “Driving” section.

What is the “Abuse and Lose” Law?
Missouri’s Abuse and Lose law is triggered when individuals under the age of 21 is charged with Minor in Possession, False Identification, or Drug Possession. If someone is charged with one of these offenses they may have their driving licenses suspended for 90 days on the first offense, and up to a year on subsequent offenses.

What is a BAC Test?
A Blood Alcohol Test (BAC) is a way to test the alcohol content of your blood. It is done to determine whether someone is intoxicated. A BAC Test may be of your breath, blood or urine. The most common tests are breath tests via a breathalyzer device and blood draws that are tested at a hospital or lab.

What is Implied Consent?
Missouri law specifies that everyone who operates a vehicle within the state are deemed to have impliedly consented to BAC testing if they have been arrested and there are reasonable grounds to believe they have been driving while intoxicated, under 21 and there are reasonable grounds to believe their BAC is at least .02%, or were involved in a serious or fatal vehicle collision.

What Happens if I Decline a BAC Test in Violation of Implied Consent?
If you decline a lawful request by an officer to test your BAC, you will face a one-year revocation of your driving license. If the driver has any prior alcohol-related contacts, a minimum six-moth ignition interlock device will be required following the revocation (you will have to blow into a BAC device to start your car). If the officer seeks a warrant for a blood draw, you may not be permitted to refuse.

What Happens if I Operate a Boat After Drinking?
Just as you cannot drive while intoxicated (DWI), you cannot operate a boat while intoxicated (BWI). There are criminal penalties for Boating While Intoxicated, and they are as severe as the DWI penalties listed in the “Driving” section.

Is There an Open Container Law in Missouri?
There is no state wide open container law in Missouri. This means there is no state law prohibiting passengers in a vehicle, who are otherwise of legal age, to drink in a vehicle. While there is no state wide law, there are many cities and towns across the state that do prohibit the act with local ordinances, so do not assume it is legal where you are located. The driver is never allowed to have an open container.

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