Tennessee Bartender Laws

There are several rules that Tennessee bartenders must follow to avoid liability in alcohol-related injuries. If bartenders violate these laws in Tennessee, they face suspended or revoked licenses and up to $1,500 in fines for a first offense.


Dram shop laws assign liability for bartenders who provide alcohol to customers. One Tennessee statute says:

“[T]he consumption of any alcoholic beverage or beer rather than the furnishing of any alcoholic beverage or beer is the proximate cause of injuries inflicted upon another by an intoxicated person.”

In other words, it is most often the customer’s fault, not the bartender’s, when he or she causes a drunk driving accident. Victims must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the bartender was primarily responsible for the accident, either by providing alcohol to a minor or by providing alcohol to a “visibly intoxicated person.


Each state has its own set of laws that determine what bars can and cannot do for happy hour specials. Under these laws, Tennessee bars cannot do any of the following after 10 pm:

  • Offer “two for one”-type specials
  • Offer “all you can drink” specials for a fixed price
  • Sell alcohol based on the amount consumed
  • Establish contests or prizes based on who can drink the most
  • Offer alcohol as a prize
  • Sell more than one drink to one person at a time.

If you believe that a drinking establishment played a role in your car accident, tell us about it. We offer free consultations to discuss your story and review your options. Call us at (615) 866-3938.

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the spirit.” – Ephesians 5:18

The Law Office of Stanley A. Davis – Nashville car accident lawyer