Consumer Protection reminds public of New Year's liquor laws

With New Year’s Eve celebrations approaching, the state Department of Consumer Protection is reminding the public about the hours that businesses can legally sell and serve liquor during the holiday.

On Dec. 31st, liquor stores and grocery stores with beer permits may sell products during their normal hours until 9 p.m. Bars, restaurants and cafés may serve drinks, beer or wine until 3 a.m. the following morning, Jan. 1. The department notes that café permit businesses, typically bars, must be closed at 3 a.m. Restaurants may remain open after that hour but no alcoholic beverages may be served.

Any town, by vote or local ordinance, may have reduced its locally permissible hours. In such towns, the reduced hours mandated by local governance take precedence over State law.

On Jan. 1, package stores must remain closed and grocery stores can’t sell wine or beer. Bars, restaurants, cafes and casinos may serve drinks as their permit allows for normal operation.

“Let’s keep this holiday safe and free of needless tragedy caused by the irresponsible use of alcohol,” Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said Monday. “While businesses are prohibited from serving or selling to minors or anyone who appears inebriated, these rules are appropriate for house parties too. Arrange transportation for guests who need it, don’t host parties at your home where youth are allowed to drink and, very importantly, know and stay within your own limits. Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year.”

The Department of Consumer Protection, through the State Liquor Control Commission, oversees all sales of liquor in the State of Connecticut.