Starting from July 1, 2023, a new Indiana state law will come into effect, allowing children to accompany adults into bar areas at local dining establishments.

Old Laws vs New Laws

The old laws prevented anyone under 21 from sitting at a table without a physical separation between the bar and the seating area. However, with the new law taking effect in Indiana, these limitations will be lifted.

Minors Will Be Allowed in Bars

Although minors under 21 still won't be able to sit directly at the bar, beginning July 1, 2023, they will be allowed to occupy the surrounding bar seating. The origins of the previous restrictions can be traced back to Indiana's Prohibition era.

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Indiana Senate Bill 20

Senate Bill 20, which will allow minors in bar areas, reads in its entirety:

Allows a city or town to designate an outdoor location as a refreshment area with the approval of the alcohol and tobacco commission (commission). Provides that if a refreshment area is approved, the commission designates retailer permittees that may sell alcoholic beverages for consumption within the refreshment area. Prohibits a refreshment area from being located near a school or church unless the school or church does not object. Allows a minor to be within the refreshment area. Adds language providing that a person entering a licensed premises within a refreshment area with an alcoholic beverage is not subject to criminal penalties. Makes it a Class C infraction for a participating retailer permittee or vendor to sell a person more than two alcoholic beverages at a time or an open container of an alcoholic beverage that exceeds the volume limitations. Allows a restaurant to sell or dispense alcoholic beverages from a bar located on the licensed premises that opens to an outside patio or terrace that is contiguous to the main building.


While the law allows bars and restaurants to offer more family-friendly seating, it is important to note that the decision to implement these changes remains with the individual establishments. The freedom to choose whether or not to open up additional seating options ensures that businesses can adapt based on their specific clientele and circumstances.

[Source: ABC57,]

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