Tennessee Minor in Possession Laws

Online Alcohol Class offers the most comprehensive online Minor in Possession instruction available in Tennessee. We offer Level 1 (8 hour), Level 2 (16 hour), and Level 3 (24 hour) online Minor in Possession and Minor in Consumption Courses.

Often students and parents call us to inquire about the MIP laws in Tennessee. As a courtesy, we've compiled the laws from every state and listed them below.

Please note that the Tennessee MIP laws displayed on this page are intended to help help you to learn about your local Tennessee laws. While we have tried to show the most up-to-date version of Tennessee minor in possession laws, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. This web page is not a replacement for legal advice from an attorney. It is in your best interest that you find an appropriate lawyer for more information about Tennessee MIP laws.

Tennessee Minor In Possession Laws

Tennessee Underage Possession of Alcohol

Possession is prohibited with NO EXCEPTIONS

Tennessee Underage Consumption of Alcohol

Consumption is prohibited with NO EXCEPTIONS

Tennessee Internal Possession by Minors

Internal possession is not explicitly prohibited

Tennessee Underage Purchase of Alcohol

Purchase is prohibited, but youth MAY PURCHASE for law enforcement purposes

Furnishing Alcohol to Minors in Tennessee

Furnishing is prohibited with NO EXCEPTIONS

Minimum Ages for On-Premises Servers and Bartenders in Tennessee

Beer: 18 for both servers and bartenders

Wine: 18 for both servers and bartenders

Spirits: 18 for both servers and bartenders

Minimum Ages for Off-Premises Sellers of Alcoholic Beverages in Tennessee

Beer: 18

Wine: 18

Spirits: 18

False Identification for Obtaining Alcohol in Tennessee

Provision(s) targeting minors:

  • Use of a false ID to obtain alcohol is a criminal offense
  • Penalty may include driver's license suspension through a judicial procedure

Provision(s) targeting retailers:

  • Licenses for drivers under age 21 are easily distinguishable from those for drivers age 21 and older
  • Specific affirmative defense - the retailer inspected the false ID and came to a reasonable conclusion based on its appearance that it was valid

Notes: In Tennessee, APIS bases coding for the Specific Affirmative Defense afforded to retailers on Tenn. Code Ann. § 57-5-108. This statute provides that no permit or license shall be revoked on the grounds that the operator or any person working for the operator sells beer to a minor over the age of 18 years if such minor exhibits an identification, false or otherwise, indicating the minor's age to be 21 or over, if the minor's appearance as to maturity is such that the minor might reasonably be presumed to be of such age and is unknown to such person making the sale. As of July 1, 2006, it is also an affirmative defense to criminal prosecution if any person accused of giving or buying alcoholic beverages or beer for a minor acted upon a reasonably held belief that the minor was of legal age. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-404. APIS does not rely on this statute for coding of a General Affirmative Defense because § 57-5-108 applies more specifically to retailers.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Underage Operators of Noncommercial Motor Vehicles in Tennessee

BAC limit: 0.02 - a BAC level above the limit is per se (conclusive) evidence of a violation

Applies to drivers age 16 or above

Applies to drivers under age 21

Tennessee Retail Sales: Keg Registration

Registration is not required

Tennessee Underage Driving Privileges: Use/Lose

Tennessee has two Use/Lose laws:

Law # 1- Type(s) of violation leading to driver's license suspension, revocation, or denial: * Underage purchase * Underage possession

Use/lose penalties apply to minors under age 21

Authority to impose driver's license sanction

  • Mandatory

Length of suspension/revocation: 365 days

Law # 2- Type(s) of violation leading to driver's license suspension, revocation, or denial: * Underage purchase * Underage possession * Underage consumption

Use/lose penalties apply to minors under age 18

Authority to impose driver's license sanction

  • Mandatory

Length of suspension/revocation: 365 days

Notes: In Tennessee, the driving privileges of an offender shall be suspended for one year, or until the offender reaches 17 years of age, whichever is longer.

Prohibitions Against Hosting Underage Drinking Parties in Tennessee

Social host law is not specifically limited to underage drinking parties.

Action by underage guest that triggers violation: Consumption

Property type(s) covered by liability law:

  • Residence
  • Outdoor
  • Other

Standard for hosts' knowledge or action regarding the party: KNOWLEDGE - host must have actual knowledge of the occurrence

Notes: Social host liability in Tennessee is limited to an owner, occupant or other person having a lawful right to the exclusive use and enjoyment of property to knowingly allow an "underage adult" to consume alcoholic beverages, wine or beer on the property . An "underage adult" is defined as a person who is at least 18 years of age but less than 21 years of age. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-404

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