Bartending Laws Maryland
Baltimore | Dundalk | Silver Spring

Are you an individual living in Maryland, near areas such as Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Laurel, or Silver Spring, who is interested in work as a bartender? If so, read this article to learn about the bartending laws Maryland has enacted and how these laws can affect your job as a bartender and the establishment in which you work.

To Be or Not to Be…A Bartender That Is

Before you even think about applying for a job as a bartender, there are bartending laws Maryland has enacted that discuss the qualifications all individuals must meet before they can be trusted to safely serve alcohol to others. These laws include:

  • Legal Serving Age: You must be at least 18 (depending on county) years of age to bartend in the state of Maryland. The minimum age to work as a barback or busboy is 16, but these individuals cannot serve alcohol to customers.
  • Alcohol Awareness Training: In some counties, Maryland bartenders must complete an alcohol awareness training program before being hired to serve alcohol to others.
  • Re-Certification: To continue working as a bartender, you must complete an alcohol awareness training program every four years.

Also, depending upon your jurisdiction, it may be important to note that Howard County, Montgomery County, Kent County, and Washington County require individuals employed as supervisors in alcohol-serving establishments to complete alcohol awareness training and be present during all hours that alcohol is being served.

Things to Remember On-the-Job

There are many bartending laws Maryland has put in place surrounding where, when, and how alcohol can be sold and consumed within the state. Some of the most important laws you will need to know to be a responsible bartender include:

  • Legal Drinking Age: Individuals must be at least 21 years of age before they can legally consume alcohol. As a bartender, you are responsible for checking the ID of each individual you serve to ensure they meet the minimum drinking age requirement.
  • Legal Blood-Alcohol Limit: Individuals who test positive for a Blood-Alcohol Content of .08 or higher are considered intoxicated and will be charged with a DUI if caught behind the wheel of a car. Part of being a responsible bartender is knowing when to cut-off the supply of alcohol to a customer who shows signs of inebriation.
  • Legal Sale of Alcohol: Although local jurisdiction hours may vary, the bartending laws Maryland has put in place surrounding the sale of alcohol state that on-premise establishments may only sell alcohol to customers between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m.

In addition to the above laws, there may be other regulations of which you need to be aware depending upon the jurisdiction in which you work. For example:

  • Some areas of Baltimore County and Garrett County prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sunday.
  • Montgomery County, Somerset County, Wicomico County, and Worcester County are alcoholic beverage control counties.
  • The bartending laws Maryland enforces allows each jurisdiction to limit the sale of alcoholic beverages on Election Day and other holidays on an individual basis.

Watch Out for Minors

Although all of the bartending laws Maryland has enacted are important and need to be strictly adhered to by both bartenders and the establishments that employ them, the laws that need to be particularly stressed are those regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors. These laws include:

  • Minors on the Premises: Generally speaking, minors (anyone under the legal drinking age) are allowed to be present in establishments that serve alcohol. However, local jurisdictions may enforce additional restrictions to this law as they see fit.
  • Parents Serving Minors: Parents are NOT allowed to serve alcohol to their children. As a responsible bartender, it is your responsibility to prevent and watch out for this type of behavior.

If local authorities discover that you or the establishment for which you work are serving alcoholic beverages to minors, the consequences can be dire:

  • First Offense: Establishment receives a fine up to $500.
  • Subsequent Offenses: Establishment fined up to $1000.

As a bartender, you can immediately lose your job if it is discovered that you were personally responsible for serving alcohol to minors.

Learn More About Bartending Laws at the Maryland Bartending Academy

Founded in 1980, the Maryland Bartending Academy is the oldest bartending school in the state of Maryland. We have been teaching individuals from Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Laurel, and Silver Spring everything they need to know to become experienced bartenders for thirty years!

Our real world, hands-on-training gives our students the skills they need to start Bartending right away. We also make sure all of our students are aware of the bartending laws Maryland has put in place to ensure not only that they can do the job, but that they can do it the right way!

We offer an Alcohol Awareness training class that has been approved by the Comptroller of Maryland (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Bureau) and that provides detailed information on the same subjects included in our 45-hour bartending course. Training offered through this course includes:

  • ID Checking Procedures
  • Facts About Alcohol
  • Cut-Off Techniques
  • Responsible Business Practices
  • State Laws and Regulations

All students who enroll in this course receive additional “State Certification.”

But, you don’t have to take our word for it. Simply read what one of our graduates has to say about her experience in the Maryland Bartending Academy’s Alcohol Awareness training class:

“Now that I’m working as a bartender in one of the most respected luxury hotels in Maryland, I cannot begin to express how valuable the training I received in the Alcohol Awareness training class at the Maryland Bartending Academy has been. Because of the training I received in that class, I am able to do my job responsibly and to the best of my ability, which has helped me earn the respect and admiration not only of my boss, but of my co-workers as well. Thank you Maryland Bartending Academy for taking the extra step to offer this class to all of your students!”

Lisa Shempke, Silver Spring, MD

The Maryland bartending laws training we offer our students has been approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission and the Workforce Investment Act. We are an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating and share a professional affiliation with the Professional Bartending Advisory Board.

Contact the Maryland Bartending Academy TODAY!

We are more than happy to answer your individual questions about our bartending program. Please give us a call at (410) 787-0020 or fill out our quick online contact form to get in touch with one of our representatives.

We know that once you have visited the Maryland Bartending Academy, explored all the avenues open to you as a bartender, and been introduced to our Job Placement Assistance Program, you will be anxious to begin your new career as a bartender in the Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Laurel, and Silver Spring area right away.