West indian countries

Explained: The minimum legal drinking age in some countries around the world

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The government of Haryana amended its excise law, reducing the legal age to buy, sell or consume alcohol from 25 to 21 years old. A draft amendment concerning the modification of the age limit was adopted at the Vidhan Sabha on the last day of the winter session, Wednesday 22 December.

The government’s reasoning for lowering the age to 21 is that “many other states have prescribed lower age limits.”

Here is an overview of the legal drinking age around the world:

The International Alliance for Responsible Consumption (IARD), 2020 has compiled country-specific information on MLDA. Below are the MLDAs for some countries.

Afghanistan: The sale, purchase and consumption of alcohol are prohibited.

Australia: Although the rule on alcohol consumption varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, 18-year-olds are permitted to sell alcohol on and off the premises. There may also be exceptions in certain cases when minors are accompanied by adults.

Bangladesh: The sale of alcohol off and on site is prohibited in the country for all age groups, unless the person has a permit from the Department of Narcotics Control. Muslims can only get a permit for medical reasons.

Canada: Alcohol consumption by minors under adult supervision is permitted in licensed establishments in Manitoba and New Brunswick and at home in Prince Edward Island, Alberta, British Columbia, in Ontario and Saskatchewan, according to IARD.

Egypt: The sale of alcohol on site and to take away is permitted by persons aged 18 and over.

Germany: 16 years for beer and wine (14 years if accompanied by a parent or guardian) and 18 years for spirits. Persons under the age of 18 are not permitted in premises approved as bars, nightclubs and similar places of entertainment.

India: The minimum age to buy alcohol is 18 in Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Sikkim and Puducherry.

21 years old in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Orissa (Odisha), Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, 25 (now 21) in Haryana, Meghalaya, Pendjab, Delhi

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The sale of alcohol is prohibited in states such as Bihar, Gujarat, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Lakshadweep.

Iran: The sale, purchase and consumption of alcohol are prohibited.

Kuwait: The sale, purchase and consumption of alcohol are prohibited.

Libya: The sale, purchase and consumption of alcohol are prohibited.

Malaysia: The sale of alcohol to Muslims is prohibited, the legal age is 21 for non-Muslims for the sale of alcohol on and off site.

Saudi Arabia: The sale, purchase and consumption of alcohol are prohibited.

Sri Lanka: The sale of alcohol on site and to take away is permitted to persons 21 years of age and over.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Sale, supply and consumption are prohibited in Sharjah. In other places, the age limit is 21.

WE: The legal minimum drinking age (MLDA) in the United States is 21. Prior to the enactment of the National Minimum Age for Alcohol Consumption Act 1984, the legal age at which alcohol could be purchased was different in different states.

UK: In the UK, a person can be arrested, fined or arrested by the police if they are under 18 and drink alcohol in public. However, if a person is 16 or 17 years old and accompanied by an adult, it is allowed to drink wine, beer or cider with a meal, but the purchase is not. In general, for a person under the age of 18, it is illegal to sell alcohol to them, to buy or attempt to buy alcohol, for an adult to buy or to try to buy alcohol. ‘buy alcohol for herself and drink alcohol in licensed premises (such as a pub or restaurant).

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