Last Updated on August 29, 2023 by Lydia Martin
Whether you are a local or a traveler passing through, you must understand the alcohol laws in New Mexico to save you from unexpected disappointments and penalties.
We get you – liquor laws can be really confusing since the regulations vary by state, city, or county, and some require a specific liquor license.
Whenever we travel, we always check with the locality to know the exact closing times. So, what time do they stop selling alcohol in New Mexico? If you’re also curious, read more below.
When Does New Mexico Stop Selling Alcohol?
Liquor sales in New Mexico vary by the day of the week, location, and type of establishment.
From breweries and taprooms to grocery stores, gasoline stations, bars, restaurants, package stores, and liquor stores, the closing times for alcohol sales may vary.
You can’t buy alcohol anytime, and the regulations align with the Liquor Control Act in New Mexico.
- Package liquor sales (off-premises): Starts from 7:00 AM to 12:00 MN, Monday to Saturday
- Sunday Sales: Starts at 12:00 PM to 12:00 MN
- Establishments with Beer and Wine License (on-premises): Selling alcohol usually starts from 7:00 AM to 2:00 AM, daily
- Establishments with Full Liquor License: Can sell liquor from 11:00 AM to 2:00 AM, daily
- Restaurants: Liquor sales may start from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM or until they stop serving food
“To me, there is almost a racial element,” Sen. Mark Moores said. “It is almost saying a certain cultural population cannot handle their liquor, so we have to ban them from buying this liquor.” – Mark Moores, New Mexico’s State Senator
But take note – local authorities may further impose additional or special restrictions. So, we always suggest checking with the local jurisdictions to clarify the legal limit to alcohol sales.
Places To Buy Alcohol & Their Last Call
Breweries & Taprooms
Breweries and taprooms typically stop serving alcohol around 10:00 PM. The operating hours of every establishment vary, but usually, they sell beer starting from 7:00 AM to 2:00 AM.
However, a brewery liquor license is required to sell alcohol legally.
Alcohol sales in grocery stores and convenience stores generally cease between 12:00 AM and 2:00 AM, catering to those who shop late at night.
If you want to buy beer in New Mexico, you can purchase alcohol at grocery stores from 7:00 AM to 2:00 AM Monday to Saturday and 12:00 PM to 12:00 MN Sunday.
Like convenience stores, the operating hours of gasoline stations are 24/7. But regarding alcohol sales, Sunday sales have restrictions. Specifically, you can purchase beer from 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM.
Bars & Restaurants
You can purchase alcohol, like beer and wine, in bars and restaurants in New Mexico, typically until around 2:00 AM, Monday to Saturday.
On Sundays, alcohol sales may have different hours, typically from 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM. In these kinds of establishments, a liquor license is required, according to the Liquor Control Act.
Package & Liquor Stores
Like alcohol sales in bars and restaurants, package and liquor shops operate from 7:00 AM to 2:00 AM every Monday to Saturday. In particular, you can buy beer in New Mexico during these hours.
Sunday hours may differ, generally operating from 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM. However, local authorities may impose further restrictions during alcohol sales on Sunday.
Note: Alcohol can be sold on-premise between 7:00 AM and 2:00 AM and until midnight for off-premises sales. On Christmas Day, restaurants (not bars) can offer alcoholic drinks from noon to 10:00 PM, while off-premises sales are not permitted on this day.
It’s worth acknowledging that operating hours and rules might differ depending on your area. So, we advise clarifying the guidelines with local authorities before any transactions, whether you want to buy or sell alcohol.
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New Mexico’s Serving Laws
General Sale Hours
Overarching laws (Liquor Control Act) control alcohol sales in New Mexico, permitting the sale of liquor from 7:00 AM until 2:00 AM the following day.
But the sale of alcoholic beverages must occur within licensed premises or designated off-premises locations only, and you must be of legal drinking age .
Depending on the establishment, there must be a specific license or permit required to sell alcohol legally (i.e., a wine license).
While New Mexico liquors laws (Blue Laws)  allow alcohol sales on Sundays, it comes with some restrictions, usually set by local authorities within New Mexico.
On Sundays, you buy alcohol (or sell alcohol) from 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM only, depending on the establishments’ location.
It is safe to buy and consume alcohol at licensed premises like taprooms, breweries, and bars.
In New Mexico, the “Last Call” usually happens around 1:30 AM, giving you ample time to finish your alcoholic beverages before 2:00 AM, when the alcohol sales stop.
You may encounter this usually on licensed premises like bars, restaurants, and taprooms.
What Is Law 30-7-3 In New Mexico?
In New Mexico, the 30-7-3 law  pertains to carrying a firearm on the premises of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic drinks is generally considered unlawful unless specific exceptions apply.
Exceptions to the Rule:
- Law Enforcement Officers: On-duty law enforcement officers are allowed to bring firearms while performing their duties.
- Certified Law Enforcement Officers: Off-duty law enforcement officers who are certified as per the Law Enforcement Training Act and adhere to their agency’s policies can also carry firearms.
- Property Owners and Operators: The owner, lessee, tenant, or operator of the licensed premises, along with their agents (including privately employed security personnel), can carry firearms while performing their duties.
- Concealed Handgun License Holders: Individuals possessing a valid concealed handgun license under the Concealed Handgun Carry Act are permitted to carry firearms in certain circumstances:
- In licensed establishments, but do not sell alcohol for on-premises consumption.
- In restaurants licensed to sell beer and wine if the majority of their annual gross receipts come from food sales unless there are clear signage or verbal instructions prohibiting firearms
- Residential or Sleeping Areas: Firearms can be carried in areas primarily rented for sleeping or residential purposes, such as hotel or motel rooms.
- Vehicular Traffic or Parking Areas: Firearms are allowed in areas of licensed locations mainly used for vehicular traffic or parking.
- Temporary Display: Firearms can be carried for temporary display, provided they’re rendered completely inoperable and are under the licensee’s or agent’s control.
Penalties for Violation:
Engaging in the unlawful carrying of a firearm in an establishment licensed to do alcohol sales is classified as a fourth-degree felony.
It carries legal consequences in line with the severity of the offense, like possible license suspension, community service, and so on.
Is New Mexico A Dry State?
No, New Mexico is not a dry state . Unlike some states (like Alaska) that impose heavy restrictions or bans on alcohol sales, New Mexico embraces a more liberal approach to alcohol consumption and distribution.
“Navigating New Mexico’s alcohol regulations is like savoring a crafted cocktail – knowing when to sip, respecting boundaries, and cherishing the experience responsibly.” – Liquor Laboratory
But on Sundays, we can consider it a dry state due to the alcohol restrictions, depending on the county. Establishments can buy or sell alcohol on Sunday but with stricter regulations in place.
What time do they stop selling alcohol in New Mexico on Sunday?
On Sundays in New Mexico, alcohol sales typically conclude around 12:00 AM. This regulation allows you to purchase alcoholic drinks from noon until the specified closing time, ensuring a consistent schedule for those seeking to enjoy responsibly on the weekend.
Can you buy alcohol before 12 in New Mexico?
Yes, you can buy alcohol before 12 in New Mexico. For most off-premises establishments, you can purchase liquor from 7:00 AM to 12:00 AM. But for on-premises locations, you can buy liquor typically until 2:00 AM.
Take note that if you don’t abide by the liquor laws, you are subject to penalties or legal consequences like revocation of your driver’s license (for DUI), community service, and liquor license suspension.
Can you buy beer at gas stations in New Mexico?
Yes, you can buy beer at gasoline stations in New Mexico. From Monday to Saturday, the alcohol sales are open, but on Sundays, you can only buy until 12:00 AM.
The time New Mexico stops selling alcohol to customers is typically around 12:00 AM until 2:00 AM, depending on the county and establishment.
While NM allows the sale of alcohol on Sundays, there may be restrictions set by specific counties. So, it is advisable to check with your local municipality to confirm the exact liquor hours.