September 26, 2007
MINORS IN BARS
By: Daniel Duffy, Principal Analyst
You asked if (1) minors are allowed to be in barrooms where alcohol is served and (2) the law allows parents to serve liquor to their minor children. Under the Liquor Control Act, a “minor” is someone under 21 years old.
MINORS IN BARROOMS
The law prohibits liquor permittees and their servants or agents from allowing (1) minors to loiter on the premises where liquor is kept for sale or (2) minors, other than a minor over age 18 who is an employee or accompanied by his parent or guardian to be in a room where alcohol is served at a bar (CGS § 30-90). In a 1915 decision on a prosecution of a liquor licensee for allowing females to loiter in his establishment, a Connecticut Circuit Court found that “loiter” is in common use and means to delay, linger, be dilatory, and to spend time idly (The State v. Tobin, 90 Conn. 58, 62 (1915)). Violators are punishable with imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both (CGS § 30-113).
PARENTS SERVING MINOR CHILDREN
The law generally prohibits selling, shipping, delivering, or giving liquor to minors by any means. The penalty is imprisonment of up to 18 months, a fine of up to $1,500, or both (CGS § 30-86(b)). But the prohibition does not apply to, among other exceptions, delivery by a parent, guardian, or spouse of the minor if the parent, guardian, or spouse is at least 21 and the minor has the liquor while in the company of the parent, guardian, or spouse.