The Colorado Youth Employment Opportunity Act (CYEOA) of 1971 is a state law regulating youth employment in the state of Colorado. In addition to reviewing the restrictions under the CYEOA, the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) should be reviewed. The FLSA is a federal law and its regulations do not permit the employment of minors in a variety of circumstances. The Colorado Division of Labor is a state agency and cannot intervene or assist in matters involving the application and interpretation of federal laws.
NOTE: When both federal and state laws apply, the more stringent standard must be observed. For more information about federal law and the FLSA, please contact the U.S. Department of Labor at 720-264-3250 or 866-487-9243.
Age requirements for the sale and serving of alcoholic beverages in the State of Colorado are as follows:
A person who is 18 years of age, and is employed by a 3.2% beer licensed establishment, is allowed to handle, stock, sell, serve, or dispense 3.2% beer in that establishment. A person under 18 years of age is permitted to "handle" or "stock" 3.2% beer if employed by a 3.2% beer licensee and under the on-premises supervision of a person who is at least 18 years of age. A person must be 21 years of age to possess, purchase or consume 3.2% beer.
Malt, vinous and spirituous liquor may be handled, dispensed, or sold (this includes wait staff and bartenders) by anyone who is at least 18 years of age and under the on-premises supervision of a person who is at least 21 years of age. EXCEPTIONS: in Retail Liquor Stores and Taverns which do not regularly serve meals, malt, vinous and spirituous liquor may only be sold by persons who are at least 21 years of age. A person of any age (in compliance with the CYEOA) may bus tables or handle empty alcohol beverage containers. A person must be 21 years of age to possess, purchase or consume beer, wine or spirits.
Employees of retail liquor stores and liquor licensed drug stores must be at least 21 years of age to sell or distribute beer, wine or spirits.
For additional information about age requirements for the sale and serving of alcoholic beverages, contact the Colorado Department of Revenue, Liquor/Tobacco Enforcement Division at 303-205-2306 for more information.
Advisory Bulletin: Youth Employment Sale and Serving of Alcoholic Beverages, 6(III)
Colorado Revised Statute 8-12-101 et seq. (Colorado Youth Employment Opportunity Act)
U.S. Department of Labor Youth and Labor Information
Colorado Liquor/Tobacco Enforcement Division
Colorado Liquor Enforcement Age Requirements
Colorado Liquor/Tobacco Enforcement Division Laws and Rules