Legal drinking age

Legal drinking age

Overview
Laws about the legal drinking age cover a wide range of issues and behaviours, addressing when and where alcohol can be consumed. The minimum age alcohol can be legally consumed can be different to the age when it can be purchased. These laws vary among different countries and many laws have exemptions or special circumstances. Most laws apply only to drinking alcohol in a public places, with alcohol consumption in the home being mostly unregulated.
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Encyclopedia
Laws about the legal drinking age cover a wide range of issues and behaviours, addressing when and where alcohol can be consumed. The minimum age alcohol can be legally consumed can be different to the age when it can be purchased. These laws vary among different countries and many laws have exemptions or special circumstances. Most laws apply only to drinking alcohol in a public places, with alcohol consumption in the home being mostly unregulated. Some countries also have different age limits for different types of alcoholic drinks.

The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 is the only country that has a minimum legal age for drinking alcohol in a home. Some Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic nations prohibit Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s, or both Muslims and non-Muslims, from drinking alcohol at any age. In some countries, it is not illegal for minors to drink alcohol but the alcohol can be seized without compensation. In some cases, it is illegal to sell or give alcohol to minors. The following list indicates the age of the person to whom it is legal to consume and purchase alcohol.

Africa

Country/region De jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

Notes
Drinking age Purchase age
 Algeria 18
 Angola None
 Botswana 18
 Burundi 18 No limit if accompanied by parents.
 Cameroon 18 21 18 on the premises, 21 off the premises
 Cape Verde 18
 Central African Republic 18
 Comoros None
 Egypt 18 (beer), 21 (wine/spirits)
 Equatorial Guinea None
 Eritrea 18
 Ethiopia 18
 Gabon 18 Illegal for Muslims
 The Gambia 18 Illegal for Muslims
 Ghana 18
 Guinea-Bissau None
 Kenya 18
 Lesotho 18
 Libya Illegal
 Malawi 18
 Mauritius 18
 Morocco None 16
 Mozambique 18
 Namibia 18
 Niger 18
 Nigeria 18
 Republic of the Congo 18
 Rwanda 18
 Seychelles 18
 South Africa 18
 Swaziland None 18
 Sudan 16 Illegal for Muslims
 Tanzania 18
 Togo None
 Uganda 18
 Tunisia 18
 Zambia 18
 Zimbabwe 18

Americas

Country / region De jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

Notes
Drinking age Purchase age
 Argentina 18
 The Bahamas 18
 Belize 18
 Bermuda 18
 Bolivia 18
 Brazil 18
 Canada 18 Alberta
Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

, Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

, and Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, but underage drinking by 16-17 year olds under parental supervision is permitted in Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

  and under parental supervision in a residence or a temporary residence in Alberta
Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

19 In Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a prairie province in Canada, which has an area of . Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota....

, British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

, Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

, Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

, New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

, Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

, Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
The Northwest Territories is a federal territory of Canada.Located in northern Canada, the territory borders Canada's two other territories, Yukon to the west and Nunavut to the east, and three provinces: British Columbia to the southwest, and Alberta and Saskatchewan to the south...

, Yukon
Yukon
Yukon is the westernmost and smallest of Canada's three federal territories. It was named after the Yukon River. The word Yukon means "Great River" in Gwich’in....

, and Nunavut
Nunavut
Nunavut is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the actual boundaries had been established in 1993...

, the legal drinking age is 19. Underage drinking under parental supervision is permitted, with some restrictions, on one's own property in the provinces of New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

 and Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

 and at home in the provinces of Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

 and Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a prairie province in Canada, which has an area of . Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota....

. In British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

, only children of the supervising parents, not any other minors such as guests, are allowed underage drinking. Consumption of alcohol in another person's home is subject to other laws.
 Chile 18 The minimum age is 18 for buying and consuming alcohol. Selling alcohol to a minor may attract a fine. One must provide identification upon request. Residents of Chile over the age of 18 must carry their Cédula de Identidad (Chilean ID card) issued by the Civil Registry and Identification Service at all times.
 Colombia 18
 Costa Rica 18
 Cuba None 18
 Dominican Republic 18
 Ecuador 18
 El Salvador 18
 Guatemala 18
 Guyana 18
 Haiti 16
 Honduras 18
 Jamaica None 16
 Mexico 18
 Nicaragua 19
 Panama 18
 Paraguay 20
 Peru 18
 Puerto Rico 18
 Trinidad and Tobago 18
 United States
(50 states and integral territories)
21 The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 withholds revenue from states that allow the purchase of alcohol by anyone under the age of 21. Prior to the effective date of that Act, the drinking age varied from state to state
U.S. history of alcohol minimum purchase age by state
The alcohol laws of the United States regarding minimum age for purchase have changed over time. The history is given in the table below. Unless otherwise noted, if different alcohol categories have different minimum purchase ages, the age listed below is set at the lowest age given for The...

. Some states do not allow those under the legal drinking age to be present in liquor stores or in bars
Bar (establishment)
A bar is a business establishment that serves alcoholic drinks — beer, wine, liquor, and cocktails — for consumption on the premises.Bars provide stools or chairs that are placed at tables or counters for their patrons. Some bars have entertainment on a stage, such as a live band, comedians, go-go...

 (usually, the difference between a bar and a restaurant
Restaurant
A restaurant is an establishment which prepares and serves food and drink to customers in return for money. Meals are generally served and eaten on premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services...

 is that food is served only in the latter). Contrary to popular belief, since the act went into law, only a few states prohibit minor
Minor (law)
In law, a minor is a person under a certain age — the age of majority — which legally demarcates childhood from adulthood; the age depends upon jurisdiction and application, but is typically 18...

s and young adults
Youth
Youth is the time of life between childhood and adulthood . Definitions of the specific age range that constitutes youth vary. An individual's actual maturity may not correspond to their chronological age, as immature individuals could exist at all ages.-Usage:Around the world, the terms "youth",...

 from consuming alcohol in private settings. As of January 1, 2010, 15 states and the District of Columbia ban underage consumption outright, 17 states do not ban underage consumption, and the remaining 18 states have family member and/or location exceptions to their underage consumption laws.

Federal law explicitly provides for religious, medical, employment and private club possession exceptions; as of 2005, 31 states have family member and/or location exceptions to their underage possession laws. However, non-alcoholic beer in many (but not all) states, such as Idaho

Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, and Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, is considered legal for minors (those under the age of 21).

By a judge's ruling, South Carolina

South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 appears to allow the possession and consumption of alcohol by those 18 to 20 years of age, but a circuit court judge said otherwise.


Some U.S. States have legislation that make providing to and possession of alcohol by minors (persons under 21) a gross misdemeanor with a potential of $5,000 and a year in jail (or more)


See also: Minor in Possession

Minor In Possession
In the United States, a Minor in Possession, or a MIP, is a criminal offense, typically a misdemeanor. Anyone who is under the age of 21 and possesses alcohol in the United States, with the exception of special circumstances, is violating the law of the state...

 United States Virgin Islands 18
 Uruguay None 18 Alcohol sales are forbidden after 00.00 a.m. ID can be required.
 Venezuela 18

Asia

Country / region De jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

Notes
Drinking age Purchase age
 Afghanistan Illegal
 Armenia None
 Azerbaijan 18
 Brunei Illegal Although it is illegal to purchase alcohol, it is legal for foreigners aged 17 and above to bring limited amounts of alcohol into the country every 48 hours, provided it is consumed in their home.
 Bangladesh Illegal
 Cambodia None
 Mainland China 18 18 Introduced in January 2006.
16
 Hong Kong 18
 India 18–25 (varies between states).
Consumption of alcohol is prohibited in the states of Manipur
Manipur
Manipur is a state in northeastern India, with the city of Imphal as its capital. Manipur is bounded by the Indian states of Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south and Assam to the west; it also borders Burma to the east. It covers an area of...

, Mizoram
Mizoram
Mizoram is one of the Seven Sister States in North Eastern India, sharing borders with the states of Tripura, Assam, Manipur and with the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Burma. Mizoram became the 23rd state of India on 20 February 1987. Its capital is Aizawl. Mizoram is located in the...

, Nagaland
Nagaland
Nagaland is a state in the far north-eastern part of India. It borders the state of Assam to the west, Arunachal Pradesh and part of Assam to the north, Burma to the east and Manipur to the south. The state capital is Kohima, and the largest city is Dimapur...

 and Gujarat.
 Indonesia 21
 Iran Illegal Iran has a ban on all alcohol, but religious minorities may purchase small amounts from shops owned by the same religious minority.
 Iraq 18 Forbidden to Muslims
 Israel None 18 It is illegal to sell alcohol in Israel between 11:00 p.m and 6:00 a.m, outside of pubs and restaurants. It is also illegal to drink outdoors after 9:00 p.m.
 Jordan 18
 Japan 20
 Kazakhstan 21
|
 Kuwait Illegal
 Kyrgyzstan 18
 Lebanon 18
 Macau None None
 Malaysia None 18 In areas with more than 50% of Muslim population, sale of alcohol is restricted to selected places. It is illegal to sell alcohol to Muslims and to persons under 18, but there are no restrictions on drinking age.
 Maldives 18 Sale of alcohol is limited to tourist resorts. It is illegal to sell alcohol to Muslims.
 Mongolia 18
 Nepal 18 None
 North Korea 18 Alcoholic beverages are served on Saturdays.
 Oman 21
 Pakistan 21 Illegal for Muslims
 Philippines 18
 Saudi Arabia Illegal Forbidden by Sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

. Offenders are typically punished with lashes.
 Singapore 18
 South Korea 19 If a person is 20 years old according to Korean age reckoning, that person may drink alcohol.
 Sri Lanka 21
 Syria 18
18
  • It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to consume alcohol.
  • Parents, guardians, and others taking care of people under 18 shall prohibit underage drinking, or risk administrative fines of 10000 to 50000 new Taiwan dollar
    New Taiwan dollar
    The New Taiwan dollar , or simply Taiwan dollar, is the official currency of the Taiwan Area of the Republic of China since 1949, when it replaced the Old Taiwan dollar...

    s when the situations are serious.
  • One shall not supply alcohol to anyone under the age of 6. A violator shall be administratively fined 3000 to 15000 new Taiwan dollar
    New Taiwan dollar
    The New Taiwan dollar , or simply Taiwan dollar, is the official currency of the Taiwan Area of the Republic of China since 1949, when it replaced the Old Taiwan dollar...

    s.
 Tajikistan 21 Off-limits to the Muslim majority
 Thailand 18 clubbing age is 20
 Turkmenistan 18
 United Arab Emirates 21 Expatriate, non-Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 residents may request a liquor permit to purchase alcoholic beverages; it is illegal for such holders to provide drinks to others.
 Vietnam None
 Yemen Illegal

Europe

Country / region De jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

Notes
Drinking age Purchase age
 Albania None
 Austria 16, 18 for distilled beverage
Distilled beverage
A distilled beverage, liquor, or spirit is an alcoholic beverage containing ethanol that is produced by distilling ethanol produced by means of fermenting grain, fruit, or vegetables...

s in some areas.
Upper Austria
Upper Austria
Upper Austria is one of the nine states or Bundesländer of Austria. Its capital is Linz. Upper Austria borders on Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as on the other Austrian states of Lower Austria, Styria, and Salzburg...

, Salzburg
Salzburg (state)
Salzburg is a state or Land of Austria with an area of 7,156 km2, located adjacent to the German border. It is also known as Salzburgerland, to distinguish it from its capital city, also named Salzburg...

 and Tirol
Tyrol (state)
Tyrol is a state or Bundesland, located in the west of Austria. It comprises the Austrian part of the historical region of Tyrol.The state is split into two parts–called North Tyrol and East Tyrol–by a -wide strip of land where the state of Salzburg borders directly on the Italian province of...

 prohibit the consumption of distilled beverages below the age of 18, while Carinthia
Carinthia (state)
Carinthia is the southernmost Austrian state or Land. Situated within the Eastern Alps it is chiefly noted for its mountains and lakes.The main language is German. Its regional dialects belong to the Southern Austro-Bavarian group...

 and Styria
Styria (state)
Styria is a state or Bundesland, located in the southeast of Austria. In area it is the second largest of the nine Austrian federated states, covering 16,401 km². It borders Slovenia as well as the other Austrian states of Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Burgenland, and Carinthia. ...

 prohibit drinks containing more than 12% or 14% of alcohol respectively in this age bracket. Carinthia additionally requires adolescents to maintain a blood alcohol level below 0.05%, while Upper Austria prohibits "excessive consumption", and Salzburg prohibits consumption that would result in a state of intoxication. Prohibitions in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Burgenland
Burgenland
Burgenland is the easternmost and least populous state or Land of Austria. It consists of two Statutarstädte and seven districts with in total 171 municipalities. It is 166 km long from north to south but much narrower from west to east...

, Lower Austria
Lower Austria
Lower Austria is the northeasternmost state of the nine states in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria since 1986 is Sankt Pölten, the most recently designated capital town in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria had formerly been Vienna, even though Vienna is not officially part of Lower Austria...

 and Vorarlberg
Vorarlberg
Vorarlberg is the westernmost federal-state of Austria. Although it is the second smallest in terms of area and population , it borders three countries: Germany , Switzerland and Liechtenstein...

 apply only to alcohol consumption in public. Vienna additionally prohibits the consumption of alcohol in schools under the age of 18.
 Belarus 18
 Belgium 16 for beer and wine, 18 for spirits In Belgium, it has since 10 January 2010 been illegal to "sell, serve, or offer" strong drink (over 22%) to those under the age of 18, and any alcoholic drink to those under 16. Previously, it was illegal to sell alcoholic drinks to under-16s, but accompanying adults could buy drinks for them.
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 16 18
 Kingdom of Bulgaria 18 Bulgaria's Health Act prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages to persons under 18 years of age, but not their consumption.
 Independent State of Croatia 18
 Cyprus 17
 Czech Republic 18
 Denmark 18 16 To buy alcohol (above 1.2% and bellow 16,5% ABV
ABV
ABV is a three-letter acronym that may refer to:* Alcohol by volume, a measure of the alcohol content of alcoholic drinks* Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria, from its IATA airport code...

) in stores, one must be 16, but to be served alcohol at bars, restaurants and discos the minimum is 18. For alcohol above 16,5% you must be 18. There is no drinking age, only a purchase age, and an adult may buy alcohol for a minor. By tradition, youths are privately allowed to drink alcohol after their confirmation. If a shop or bar fails to ask for an ID card and is identified having sold alcohol to an underage, it is subject to fine. A national ID card, obtained in the local town hall, can serve as age verification. This card is rarely used though since a passport or moped-licence can sometimes be used.
 Estonia 18 Drinking in public is prohibited for everyone. Stores may sell alcohol only between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.
 Finland 18 for possession and purchase of ≤ 22% ABV
20 for possession and purchase of ≥ 22% ABV
18 for all in bars and restaurants
Age limits apply to purchase and possession. Police may search minors in public places and confiscate or destroy alcoholic beverages. Adults are responsible for alcohol use by minors in private. Stores may sell alcohol only between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
 Early Modern France 18 Buying alcohol is illegal below the age of 18 Selling alcohol to a minor can be fined 7500 euro
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

s. The law has been changed recently. Drinking alcohol is not forbidden to minors in private, but supplying them with alcohol that results in intoxication is forbidden.
 Germany 16 for beer and wine; 18 for spirits Possession or consumption of alcohol by minors is allowed, but it is illegal to sell minors alcohol or to let them drink in public below the respective drinking age. Fermented alcoholic beverages may be consumed by minors in public when in presence of a legal guardian; drinking in private is not restricted. The restrictions on distilled beverages apply also to mixed drinks containing them.
 Gibraltar 18 18
 Greece 18 none
 Hungary 18
 Iceland 20 Possession or consumption of alcohol by minors is not an offence but supplying said with alcohol is. However, law allows alcohol possessed by a minor to be confiscated.
 Republic of Ireland 18 It is illegal for minors to buy alcohol, to attempt to buy it for minors, or for minors to consume alcohol in a public space in Ireland. Those under 18 may consume alcohol in a private residence when permission is given from a parent or guardian. It is illegal to purchase alcohol for anybody under the age of consent without permission from their guardians. One cannot purchase alcohol in a shop/off licence after 10 pm. Or Before 1pm on Sunday.
 Italy 16 South Tyrol
South Tyrol
South Tyrol , also known by its Italian name Alto Adige, is an autonomous province in northern Italy. It is one of the two autonomous provinces that make up the autonomous region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. The province has an area of and a total population of more than 500,000 inhabitants...

  prohibits both serving and purchase for people under the age of 18 and to everybody in a state of inebriation.
 Latvia 18
 Liechtenstein 16 for wine, beer and cider
18 for spirits and spirit-based beverages. e.g. alcopops
Wine, beer and ciders as well as some other party drinks sometimes without spirits may be purchased by the age of 16. Spirits as well as alcopops may be sold only to people at least 18.
 Lithuania 18
 Luxembourg 16
 Republic of Macedonia None
 Malta 17 Must provide identification upon request.
 Moldova 18
 Kingdom of Montenegro None 18
 Netherlands 16 (under 15% ABV); 18 (15% ABV and over) If the person is under the age of 20, an identity card has to be shown before buying. Drinking in public is banned by local ordinance in most municipalities. Selling alcohol to underage customers carries a fine of €900–€3,600.
 Norway 18; 20 (≥22% ABV
ABV
ABV is a three-letter acronym that may refer to:* Alcohol by volume, a measure of the alcohol content of alcoholic drinks* Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria, from its IATA airport code...

)
Selling alcohol to minors or buying alcohol on behalf of minors is illegal. Minors are defined as under 18 for beer and wine, under 20 for drinks that contain 22% ABV
ABV
ABV is a three-letter acronym that may refer to:* Alcohol by volume, a measure of the alcohol content of alcoholic drinks* Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria, from its IATA airport code...

 or more. Minors who buy alcohol are not held criminally responsible; instead, the crime lies with those who sold it or obtained it for them.

Alcohol possessed by minors may be confiscated as evidence. Drinking in public is prohibited, though this is rarely enforced in recreational areas.
 Poland None 18 §15.1 Clearly states that buyers must be at least 18 and prove it with ID if they look like they may not be at least that age. However, drinking alcohol under 18 is allowed.
 Portugal 16
 Kingdom of Romania None 18 According to law 61/1991 updated in 2008, paragraphs 21-25, it is illegal to serve or sell alcohol to minors. The law also imposes restrictions on serving or selling alcohol in some public locations (parks, hospitals, schools, stadiums, airports, public transport etc.) or during certain events (strikes, public meetings, sport events etc.)
 Russia 18 There is no law or regulation in Russia that prohibits minors from consuming alcohol, but selling alcohol to minors is prohibited by federal as well as additional regional laws.
 Serbia 18 Sale of alcoholic beverages to minors is prohibited.
 Slovakia 18
 Slovenia 18 There is no law regulating the possession and consumption, but it is illegal to sell or offer alcohol of any kind to minors. Also, it is illegal to sell alcohol in stores from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. and before 10 a.m. in bars and restaurants. The law also prohibits serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated customers as well as less than 1 h before and during sport events.
 Spain 18 16 in Asturias
Asturias
The Principality of Asturias is an autonomous community of the Kingdom of Spain, coextensive with the former Kingdom of Asturias in the Middle Ages...

. It is illegal to sell alcohol to people under 18, the fine being between €30,000 and €600,000. Stores are not allowed to sell alcohol between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m after a recent law was passed.
 Sweden None (less than 2.25% ABV)
18 (bars and restaurants)
18 (2.25%–3.5% ABV in normal shops),
20 (Systembolaget
Systembolaget
Systembolaget is a government owned chain of liquor stores in Sweden. It is the only retail store allowed to sell alcoholic beverages that contain more than 3.5% alcohol. Systembolaget also sells non-alcoholic beverages. To buy alcoholic beverages at Systembolaget one has to be 20 years of age or...

 shops stores),
See also alcohol in Sweden. Many clubs choose to have higher age limits than 18, commonly 20 or 23. It is legal to drink below 18, but it is illegal to sell, lend or give alcohol to someone under that age, and the police can seize alcohol from them. The reason for lower limit in bars than in Systembolaget shops is that bartenders have a legal responsibility for how drunk a guest gets.
 Switzerland 16/18 for beer, wine and cider; 18 for spirits Age for non-spirits varies by canton
Cantons of Switzerland
The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the member states of the federal state of Switzerland. Each canton was a fully sovereign state with its own borders, army and currency from the Treaty of Westphalia until the establishment of the Swiss federal state in 1848...

 Turkey 18 The government has been steadily restricting alcohol in Turkey, with proposals to create alcohol-free zones, bars on alcohol sold in new packaging, bans on sports advertising, restricting sales, and making it harder to have alcohol at public events. Only those over 24 may participate in events which distribute alcohol.
 Ukraine 18
 United Kingdom 18 Children under 5 must not be given alcohol unless under medical supervision or in an emergency (Children and Young Persons Act 1933
Children and Young Persons Act 1933
The Children and Young Persons Act 1933 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland...

, Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 1937).

Between the ages of 5 and 18, it is legally permissible for children to drink alcohol at home or at a friend's house with the permission of a parent or legal guardian.

The minimum age for the purchase of alcohol is 18. People aged 16 or 17 may consume wine, beer or cider on licensed premises when ordered with a meal. In England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

, it must be an adult who orders, however an adult doesn't have to be present to order alcohol with a meal in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

. The legal age for the purchase of alcohol from an off-licence (store/supermarket) is 18. (The legal age to buy liqueur chocolates is 16, but this is rarely enforced.)

Under the BBPA
British Beer and Pub Association
The British Beer and Pub Association is the drinks and hospitality industry's largest and most influential trade association representing 98% of UK brewing and the ownership of over half of the nation's 54,000 pubs.-History:...

's Challenge 21
Challenge 21
Challenge 21 is a scheme in the United Kingdom introduced by the British Beer and Pub Association aimed at preventing young people gaining access to age restricted products including cigarettes and alcohol...

 scheme, customers attempting to buy alcoholic beverages are asked to prove their age if in the retailer's opinion they look under 21 even though the law states they must be a minimum of 18. Many supermarket and off-licence chains display Challenge 21
Challenge 21
Challenge 21 is a scheme in the United Kingdom introduced by the British Beer and Pub Association aimed at preventing young people gaining access to age restricted products including cigarettes and alcohol...

 notices stating that they will not serve persons who look under 21 without ID.

Supermarkets or off-licence chains which are found to have violated the law and have repeatedly sold alcohol to underage persons are then required to adopt the Challenge 25 scheme. Failing to adhere to this will result in revocation of the licence to sell alcohol.

Purchasing alcohol on behalf of a minor is illegal in all of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. This means acting as the young person's agent.

Oceania

Country / region De jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

Notes
Drinking age Purchase age
 American Samoa 21
 Australia 18
Minors may consume alcohol in a private residence with parental supervision. However, in Western Australia it is illegal for minors to consume alcohol anywhere.
 Fiji 18 21 The drinking age was 21 from 2006-2009 but was lowered to 18 in 2009.
 Guam 21 Raised to 21 on July 8, 2010.
21
 New Zealand 18 Persons under 18 may not drink outside private residences or private functions unless accompanied by their parent or legal guardian. Alcohol may only be supplied to minors by their parent or legal guardian, although adult hosts of private functions may supply alcohol as long as no money exchanges hands. A bill is currently in Parliament proposing to raise the age for off-licence purchases to 20.
 Northern Mariana Islands 21
 Palau 21
 Papua New Guinea 18
 Samoa 18
 Solomon Islands 21 None
 Tonga 18 None
 Tokelau 16
 Vanuatu 18

External links