For many Idahoans, the Christmas season means catching up with old friends and extended family. Once all the presents are wrapped and the leftovers are put away, you may want to get together with those folks over a drink. If you can find a bar that’s open, will you be able to order that drink?
There are actually 24 states in the country that ban liquor sales on Christmas Day. Idaho is one of them. The law reads:
“No liquor shall be sold, offered for sale, or given away upon any licensed premises, and all liquor not in sealed bottles must be locked in a separate room or cabinet during the following hours:
a. Sunday, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas from 1 o’clock A.M., to 10 o’clock A.M. the following day…”
If you’re scratching your head, thinking to yourself “Wait. There’s a state liquor store in my neighborhood and I know that I’ve shopped there on Sunday…” that’s because the law goes on to allow counties and cities to make ordinances allowing the sale of liquor on a Sunday, Memorial Day and Thanksgiving. No one can make exceptions on Christmas Day.
That’s why all of the Idaho State Liquor Divison Stores and contract stores will be closed on December 25.
Does This Mean I Can’t Drink at an Idaho Bar if It’s Open on Christmas?
We asked Angela, our bartender at the Boise airport last Christmas Eve, to clear up this question for us. She confirmed that bars/restaurants cannot serve liquor by drink on Christmas Day. They can, however, serve you beer and wine.
Can I Buy Liquor on Christmas Eve in Idaho?
If you’re looking for a little “extra fun” to add to your eggnog or hot cocoa on Christmas Day, you’ll probably be able to buy what you need the day before.
On the Idaho State Liquor Division’s website, they say that all Idaho State Liquor Division Stores and all contract stores “may be open.” You’ll probably want to call ahead and ask if the store is operating during special hours.