New Alabama Law: Take Your Doggie to Dinner

May 28, 2021 | Allen A. Ritchie

New Alabama Law - Dogs in Restaurants


Get ready to dine with a dachshund. Maybe lunch with a labrador?

Coming August 1, it will be legal in Alabama to take your dog to a restaurant. There will be some restrictions, including you and the dog must eat outside. Also, no dogs are allowed in chairs or eating off the table.

As an injury lawyer, let me mention that you are responsible if the dog bites someone. That part of the law has not changed.

With Governor Kay Ivey signing the legislation, Alabama joins about half the nation in approving the pet-friendly policy. Until the new law, it was illegal to bring a pet into a public restaurant in our state. What? You could be caged like … well, a dog? Actually, the old law just got the restaurant a health violation.

One of the oddities of the new law is that restaurant employees can not touch the pet. So, expect a lot of cooing for tips … from a distance. Another regulation is that the animal can not be close to a bar. I guess begging for drinks could be a problem.

Campaigning to change the law began here in the Mobile area when the Baldwin Co. Health Department was put in the unenviable position of enforcing the old “no dog” law.

One final thing, individual restaurants will make their own decision about allowing the 4-legged guests. The law says it will be legal, not that the restaurants have to allow it.

If you suffer a personal injury like an auto accident, slip and fall, or dog bite, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet. We are mostly working remotely but are always available.

Also, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We will take your calls live. We are experimenting with new ways to do the show and still follow the CDC guidelines. You might want to see what we have come up with.

Allen Ritchie

Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer