Boston drinking laws & logistics


Closing times – State law requires alcohol service to end by 2:00 a.m., but many bars close at 1:00.

Legal drinking age – 21.

Driving under the influence – The blood alcohol content (BAC) limit in Massachusetts is .08 percent (.02 percent for drivers under 21). The penalty for DUI is a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment of up to two years, or both. Calculate your BAC here.

Penalty for serving an intoxicated person – civil liability for injuries caused by the intoxicated person and/or suspension or revocation of the bar’s license.


Public transit – The “T” and buses stop running at 12:45 a.m. Most T stations have switched over to electronic “Charlie” cards instead of tokens. One-way fare is $1.70. Buses require a pre-paid pass or $1.25 in exact change.

Taxis – Operate 24 hours but can be difficult to find after 1:00 a.m. (aka closing time) unless you’re at the airport or near a hotel. Cost is $2.25 for the first 1/8th mile, 0.30 for each additional 1/8th mile. Check out this handy tool: Taxi Fare Finder.

Drink prices

Beer – Average $4 to $6. Up to $8 or more for some beers at specialty beer bars.

Cocktails – $7 to $8 at the low end, $10 to $12 is common, $15 to $20 at very high-end bars.

Wine – $6 to $20 per glass.