Kansas has a number of alcohol-related laws, including some of the strictest and most numerous laws governing the sale, purchase and consumption of alcohol in the entire country. Failure to obey those laws could result in some very serious penalties including hefty fines, jail or prison time, temporary loss of driving privileges, loss of a liquor license and driver license revocation. The more you know about Kansas’ liquor laws, the more likely you will be able to avoid legal trouble. Ironically, Kansas’ neighbor, Missouri, has some of the most lenient alcohol laws in the lower forty-eight.
Those of you who know your Kansas state history may know that Kansas had statewide prohibition from 1881 to 1948, and on-premises liquor sales continued until 1987. According to Wikipedia, “as of April 2017, Kansas still has not ratified the 21st Amendment, which ended nationwide prohibition in 1933.”
When and Where You Can Purchase Alcohol in Kansas
The most current information regarding alcohol-related laws in Kansas indicates that beer can be sold in grocery stores while wine and hard liquor can only be sold in liquor stores. From Monday through Saturday, you can purchase alcohol in Kansas and take it off premises (like from a liquor store) between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. and on Sunday from noon until 8:00 p.m. Kansas bars close at 2:00 a.m. and will collect drinks from customers at that time; Kansas bars will typically have all patrons out of a bar and the doors will be locked right at 2:00 a.m. (Some states, allow patrons to stay and finish their drink past closing time, but Kansas does not.)
Driving Under the Influence in Kansas
If you are convicted of driving under the influence in Kansas, you will suffer stiff penalties—some of the most severe in the country. In Kansas, it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher if you are 21 years old and over. A BAC of over 0.02% passes the legal limit if you are under 21 years old; commercial drivers’ legal limit is under .04%.
In Kansas, the DMV regulations state that having a driver’s license, means you have given advance permission, or “implied consent” to test your blood alcohol concentration. In Kansas, refusing to have your BAC tested is a separate offense from a DUI. Even if the DUI is dropped or you are found not guilty of DUI, you will still have your driver’s license suspended for refusing to take the test.
In Kansas, for a first offense, you may face:
- Driver’s license suspension: 1 years
- Ignition Interlock Device: 2 years.
- Reinstatement fee: $600.
- Fines: $750 to $1,000
- Imprisonment of a minimum of 48 hours
- Community service of at least 100 hours
- License revocation
- Mandatory alcohol and drug treatment programs (at your own expense)
- Court costs
If you find yourself in legal trouble for allegedly violating one of these alcohol-related laws in Kansas, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.