Minimum Legal Age Limits

This table details legislation defining minimum purchase and/or consumption age limits for alcohol beverages in various jurisdictions.

It is updated on an ongoing basis as jurisdictions enact or revise their requirements with assistance from staff of the Law Library of Congress (Washington, DC).

If you have information about a country not currently listed, or if you find any of the information outdated, please email us at info@iard.org.

Suggested citation:

International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD). (2019). Minimum legal age limits. Retrieved from https://iard.org/science-resources/detail/Minimum-Legal-Age-Limits

Country/Territory On-premise Off-premise Notes Legislation
Afghanistan [all sale is prohibited] [all sale is prohibited]   Law to Fight Against Alcoholic Beverages and Narcotic Substances and to Control Them
Albania 18 18   Law 9518 of 18 April 2006 For the protection of minors from the use of alcohol
Algeria 18 18   Order No. 26-75 of 1975 Art 14
Andorra 18 18   Decree 16-6-2004 Approving Regulation of Sale and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages
Antigua and Barbuda 16 [none]   Licensing (intoxicating liquor) Act Ch 249
Argentina 18 18   Law No24.788 Combatting Alcoholism, published in Official Bulletin 3rd April 1997
Armenia 18 18   Code of Administrative Offences Art 158
Australia 18* 18* Regulated at state / territory level. Exceptions may apply if accompanied by a responsible adult. Capital Territory: Liquor Act 2010 
New South Wales: Liquor Act 2007 
Northern Territory: Liquor Act 
Queensland: Liquor Act 1992 
South Australia: Liquor Licensing Act 1997 
Tasmania: Liquor Licensing Act 1990, Sale or Supply of Alcohol to Youths (Police Offences Act 1935) 
Victoria: Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 
Western Australia: Liquor Control Act 1988
Austria [varies by jurisdiction and by beverage] [varies by jurisdiction and by beverage] Both on- and off-premise: Each federal state prohibits sale of alcohol beverages to anyone under 16 years of age. 
Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tirol, and Voralberg also prohibit sale of spirits and mixed drinks (whether pre-mixed drinks or cocktails) to anyone under 18 years of age.
National Youth Protection Act 2002 
Help.gv.at - Overview by state
Azerbaijan 18 18   Law on Children's Rights Art 9
Bahamas 18 18   Liquor Licences Act Ch 372: 22
Bahrain [all sale is prohibited] [all sale is prohibited]   Penal Code 1976 as amended through 2010 Art 307
Bangladesh [varies by religion] [varies by religion] Alcohol may not be purchased by Muslims. Narcotics Control Act, 1990
Belarus 18 18   Law No. 429-Z on State Regulation of Production and Turnover of Alcoholic, Non-food Alcohol-containing Products and Non-food Ethyl Alcohol Art 11.4
Belgium [varies by beverage] [varies by beverage] Both on- and off-premise: 18 for spirits, 16 for other alcohol beverages Act of 24 January 1977 on the protection of consumer health concerning food and other products (as amended through 2009) Art 6
Belize 18 18   Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Law CAP. 150, as revised December 2000
Benin 20 20   Decree of 10 June 1942 regulating the production, import, advertisement, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in French West Africa, as cited in Republic of Benin Report to UN Committee on the Rights of the Child CRC/C/BEN/2, 24 November 2005
Bermuda 18 [none]   Liquor License Act 1974 (amended 2014) Art 42 
Bhutan 18 18   Rules and Regulations For Establishment And Operation of Industrial And Commercial Ventures in Bhutan 1995, Rule 17 


Notification No. Kha(12-7)/89/5070 dated 26 April 1993
Bolivia 18 18   Law 259 Against the Sale and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages, July 2012 Art 20 
Bosnia and Herzegovina 18 18   Law on Amendments to the Law on Trade (Off. Nov. No. 103/03) Art 1
Botswana 18 18   Liquor Act No.9 of 2004 Art 32 
Brazil 18 18   Presidential Amendment 13,106 of 17 March 2015 of 
Law 8096 (1990) Statute on Children and Adolescents Art. 243 
Decree-Law 3,688 (1941) Law on Criminal Misdemeanors 
Brunei [all sale is prohibited] [all sale is prohibited] Non-Muslims over 17 years of age are allowed to import alcohol not to exceed maximum total volume 2 liters of liquor and 12 cans of beer at 330 ml for personal use, once in 48 hours. This alcohol must be “stored and consumed at the place of residence of the importer” and is “not to be given, transferred or sold to another person.” Liquor Form, Royal Customs and Excise Department, Ministry of Finance
Bulgaria 18 18   Health Act 2005, Amended 2008 Art 54 
Burundi 18 18 unless accompanied by parent Penal Code Art 501-502 (Law No1/05 of 22 April 2009)
Cabo Verde 18 18   Law No. 271/V/97
Cambodia [none] [none]   [n/a]
Cameroon 18* [none] *unless accompanied by person aged 21 or above in a supervisory role Penal Code n° 67/LF/1, 12 June 1967
Canada [varies by province] [varies by province] 18 in Manitoba, Alberta, and Quebec; 
19 in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.
Act respecting Offences Relating to Alcoholic Beverages, CQLR c I-8.1
Cayman Islands 18 18   Liquor Licensing Law Art 21
Chad 18* 18* *unless accompanied by supervising adult Law 2017-01 Penal Code Chapter 6 Art 376-378
Chile 18 18   Law 19.925 on the Sale and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages
China 18* 18* *Macau autonomous region does not have specific regulation limiting the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors. Law on the Protection of Minors as revised in 2006 Art 37
Chinese Taipei 18 18   Tobacco and Alcohol Administration Act 2000 Art 35
Colombia 18 18   Decree 120 of 21 January 2010 Adopting measures related to consumption of alcohol, Art 17
Comoros [varies by religion] [varies by religion] sale to Muslims is prohibited Penal Code Arts 229-6, 229-7
Costa Rica 18 18   Decree 17410 (2010) Law Regulating Alcoholic Beverages
Congo, Republic of 18 18   Law No.4-2010 of 14 June 2010 Child Protection Code Art 69, 123
Croatia 18 18   Trade Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Croatia 87/2008, 116/2009, 76/2009, 114/2011, 68/2013 and 30/2014) 
Cuba 16 16   Resolution No 334/04, Official Gazette 7 January 2005
Cyprus 18 18   Sale of Alcoholic Beverage Law (Cap 144) Art 5A
Czechia 18 18   Act 379/2005 on Measures to Protect Against Damage Caused by Tobacco Products, Alcohol and Other Addictive Substances, through Amendment 274/2008
Denmark 18 [varies by beverage] Off premise: 16 for beer and wine; 18 for alcoholic beverages containing 16.5% or more alcohol per volume. Act prohibiting the sale of tobacco and alcohol to persons under 16, march 2004
Djibouti [none] [none]   [n/a]
Dominica 16 16   Laws of Dominica Liquor Licences Act Chapter 70:03, Part IV, Sec 15(f)
Dominican Republic 18 18   Law No.136-03: Code for the protection of the rights of Children and Adolescents 2003, Art 22 
Ecuador 18 18   Reforms of the General Rules on the Natural Law for consumer Protection, 11 June 2001 No.344 
Egypt 21 21   Law No. 371 of 1956 concerning public shops Art 25(2)
El Salvador 18 18   Law regulating the production and sale of alcohol and alcoholic beverages No640 (1996)
Eritrea 18 18   Penal Code Art 267
Estonia 18 18   Alcohol Act 1999 Art 19
Ethiopia 18 18   Criminal Code, Proclamation 414/2004 Art 818 
Revised Family Code, Proclamation No. 213/2000 Art 215
Fiji 18 18   The Liquor Act 1975 as amended through 2009 Sec 2 
Finland 18 [varies by beverage] 18 for beverages up to 22% ABV; 20 for other beverages Alcohol Act 1143/94, amended 1477/94 Sec 16, 24
France 18 18   Code of Public Health as amended through June 2015 Art L3342
Gabon 18 18   Penal Code Art. 209bis-1
Gambia 16 18   Liquor License Act S16 as revised in 2009
Georgia 18 18   Law on Protecting Minors from Harmful Influences (2001) Art 4
Germany [varies by beverage] [varies by beverage] 16 for beer and wine, 18 for spirits 


Those below 18 years of age are not permitted in premises licensed as bars, nightclubs and similar entertainment venues.
Protection of Young Person Act 2002 and Amendment BT-DRS. 15/2578
Ghana 18 18   Liquor Licensing Act 331-1970 Sec 15
Greece 18 [varies by beverage] Off-premise: 18 for spirits at all outlets; 18 for other alcoholic beverages at specialized retailers [not regulated at grocery stores and other types of outlets] Law 3730/2008 Protecting minors from tobacco and alcoholic beverages, and other provisions Art 4
Grenada 16 [none]   Chapter 174 Liquor Dealers’ Licenses Act As amended through 1988 Art 39
Guatemala 18 18   Public Health Code (1998) Art 50
Guinea Bissau [none] [none]   [n/a]
Guyana 18 * 18 except 16 for wine or malt liquor to be consumed with a meal Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Act 1998
Haiti [none] [none]   The Senate voted on a proposed Law on the protection of minors from alcohol beverages, to establish a legal purchase age of 18 and related implementation measures, in December 2012; it has not yet been enacted.
Honduras 18 18   Decree 226 of 2001 Art 68
Hungary 18 18   Law on Trade (2005) Sec 5 Art 7 
Iceland 20 20   Alcohol Act No. 75/1998 Art 18
India [varies by jurisdiction] [varies by jurisdiction] 18 in Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Sikkim, and Puducherry 
21 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 in Haryana, Meghalaya, Punjab, Delhi 
[all sale is prohibited] in Bihar, Gujarat, Manipur, Nagaland, Lakshadweep
[various - see state Excise Acts and related regulaitons]
Indonesia [varies by jurisdiction] [varies by jurisdiction] [all sale is prohibited] in Banda Aceh and Papua; 
21 elsewhere for both on- and off-premise
Ministry of Trade Regulation No 20/2014 Art 15
Aceh Law No 6/2014 (Oct. 22, 2014) Art 3
Iran [all sale is prohibited] [all sale is prohibited]   [n/a]
Iraq [all sale is prohibited] [all sale is prohibited]   [Law passed by Parliament on October 23, 2016]
Ireland 18 18   Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003 Sec 13
Israel 18 18   Business Licensing Law 2010 (26th amendment) 


Law to control alcohol intoxication 2010 
Italy 18 18   Penal Code, Book III, Title I, Art 689 as amended by Law 189/2012 
Jamaica 18 18   Spirit License Act 42/1995, Sec 62 


Child Care and Protection Act 2004, Sec 40
Japan 20 20   Underage Drinking Act 2001
Jordan 18 18   Royal Decree (October 2001)
Kazakhstan 21 21   Code of Administrative Offences Sec 200
Kenya 18 18   The Alcoholic Drinks Control Act 2010 Part III Licensing 24.1
Kiribati 21 21   Liquor Ordinance 1973 
Liquor (Amendment) Act 12-2005
Korea, Republic of 19* 19* Being 19 is defined, for the purposes of this legislation, as effective from January 1st of the 19th year after one's birth Juvenile Protection Act Art 1, 26
Kuwait [all sale is prohibited] [all sale is prohibited]   Law No 46/1964
Kyrgyzstan 18 18   Law 269 of 13/09/2009 Art 13.2
Lao People's Democratic Republic 18 18   Law on Control of Alcoholic Beverages 2015
Latvia 18 18   Handling of Alcohol Law as amended through 1999 Sec 52
Lebanon 18 18   Penal Code Art 625-626
Lesotho 18 18   Liquor Licensing Act 1997 Sec 39
Liberia 18 18   Penal Law of 1976 Sec 16, 50.7
Libya [all sale is prohibited] [all sale is prohibited]  
Law No 4 of 1423 m Art 1
Liechtenstein [varies by beverage] [varies by beverage] 18 for spirits and alcopops; 16 for other alcoholic beverages Children and Youth Act 2008 Art 69 
Lithuania 18 18   Law on Alcohol Control I-857/1995 and Amendment XI-1179/2010  Art 3(5)
Luxembourg 16 16    
Macedonia 18 18   Law on Trade
Malawi 18 18   Liquor Act Sec 2, 74
Malaysia [varies by religion] [varies by religion] sale to Muslims is prohibited; 21 otherwise for on- and off-premise Food Act Regulation 1985/361 as updated through 2014 Art 4, State and Federal Territories Syariah Criminal Offences Enactments
Maldives [all sale is prohibited] [all sale is prohibited] sale to citizens is prohibited Penal Code Law No. 6/2014 Sec 616
Mali [none] [none]   [n/a]
Malta 17 17   Trading Licences Act Subsidiary Legislation 441.07 Regulation 13 as amended through 2011 Art 7
Marshall Islands 21 21   Alcohol Restriction Act of 1994 Art 202(1)
Mauritania [all sale is prohibited] [all sale is prohibited]   [n/a]
Mauritius 18 18   Child Protection Act 30/1994 Sec 16, 18
Mexico 18 18   General Health Law as amended through 2007 Art 220
Moldova 18 18   Law 1100/2000 on Alcohol Production and Sale as amended through 2012 Art 30 
Monaco 18 18   Ordinance 2,533 of 1941 on manufacture, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages Art 8
Mongolia 21 21   Law to Combat Alcoholism 2000, as amended through 2011 Art 7
Montenegro 18 18   Law on Public Order (Official Gazette 64/2011) Art 25 


Law on Tourism 2010 Art 104
Morocco [varies by religion] [varies by religion] sale to Muslims is prohibited Legislative Decision No. 3.177.66 of 1967 Art 28-29
Mozambique 18 18   Decree 54/2013 Regulations on the Monitoring of the production, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, Art 5
Myanmar 18 18   The Excise Act 1958 Art 40(7)
Namibia 18 18   Liquor Act 1998-6 Art 56
Nauru 21 21   Liquor Ordinance 1967 Art 33
Nepal 18 18   Liquor Act 2031-10 Art 4A.6 


Hotel Management and Sale and Distribution of Liquors (Control) Act as amended through 2010
Netherlands 18 18   Licensing and Catering Act as amended 2013 Art 20
New Zealand 18* 18* *does not apply if accompanied by permitting parent or legal guardian Sale and Supply of Liquor Act 2012 Art 241
Nicaragua 18 18   Law 287/1998 Art 66
Niger 18 18   Penal Code Art 302
Nigeria [varies by jurisdiction] [varies by jurisdiction]   [n/a]
Niue 18 18   The Liquor Act 1975/2 Art 11
Norway [varies by beverage] [varies by beverage] Both on- and off-premise sales: 
18 for beverages of 0.7-22%ABV 
20 for beverages of 22%ABV and above
Law 1989-27 Act on the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages Sec 1-5 


Regulation 2005-38 Alcohol Regulations Sec 2-4
Oman 21 21   Penal Code Law 7 of 1974
Pakistan [all sale is prohibited] [all sale is prohibited] non-Muslim citizens may possess alcohol to be used in accordance with religious ceremonies Prohibition (Enforcement of Hadd) Order of February 19th, 1979
Palau 21 21   11 P.N.C. 2014 Sec 1002(h), 1068
Panama 18 18   Law 3 of 1994 Family Code Art 561
Papua New Guinea 18 18   Liquor Licensing Act 1963 Art 103
Paraguay 20 20   Law 1642 of 2000 Art 1
Peru 18 18   Law 28681 of 2006 Art 14
Philippines 18 18   Act Regulating the Access of Minors to Alcohol
Poland 18 18   Act on Upbringing in Sobriety and the Prevention of Alcoholism Article 15 (1)
Portugal 18 18   Decree-Law no 50/2013 as amended by Decree-law no 106/2015
Qatar [all sale is prohibited] [all sale is prohibited]   Law No 11 of 2004 Art 272
Romania 18 18   Law 61/1991 as amended through 2011 for sanctioning the violation of rules of social life, the public order Art 22-23
Russia 18 18   Code of Administrative Offences, Art 14.16
Rwanda 18 18   Organic Law implementing the Penal Code 01/2012/OL Art 219
Saint Kitts and Nevis 18 18   Liquor Licences Act Sec 32(f)
Saint Lucia 18 18   Liquor License Act 2004 Art 49-50
Saint Vincent 16 16   Liquor License Act Sec 27,28(1)
Samoa 21 * 21 *unless at a food and beverage establishment and accompanied by parent Liquor Act 2011 Sec 14, 57
San Marino 16 16   Law No. 139 of November 26, 1997
Sao Tome and Principe [none] [none]   [n/a]
Saudi Arabia [all sale is prohibited] [all sale is prohibited]   [n/a]
Senegal 18 18   Decree 97-338 of 1997 Art 12, Law n.94-15 of 1994 Art 17
Serbia 18 18   Law 62/2014 Consumer Protection Art 24
Seychelles 18 18   Chapter 113 Licenses Act as amended through 27th September, 2010
Sierra Leone [none] [none]   [n/a]
Singapore 18 18   Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act 05/15 
Slovakia 18 18   Law 219/1996 on protection against the abuse of alcoholic beverages and the establishment and operation of abstinence rooms
Slovenia 18 18   Act Restricting the Use of Alcohol (Official Gazette 15/03) 
Solomon Islands 21 21   Liquor Act (Ch. 144) Sec 72 
South Africa 18 18 The National Liquor Policy, under discussion in 2015, proposes to raise the on- and off- premise legal purchasing ages to 21. Government Gazette No.38808 20 May 2015
Spain 18* 18* *Baleares Islands autonomous region does not have specific regulation limiting the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors. Access autonomous region legislation on the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare: Autonomous region public health legislation 

Andalucia: Law 12/2003, of 24 November, reforming Law 4/1997, Of 9 June, on Prevention and Support related to Drugs, modified by Law 1/2001, of 3 May. 
Aragon: Law 3/2001, of 4 April, on Prevention, Support and Social Reintegration related to Drug Dependencies 
Asturias: Law 4/2015, of 6 March, on comprehensive care related to drugs and alcoholic beverages 
Canary Islands: Law 9/1998, of 22 July, on Prevention, Support and Social Reintegration related to Drug Dependencies 
Cantabria: Law 5/1997, of 6 October, on Prevention, Support and Integration related to Drug Dependencies 
Castille - La Mancha: Law 15/2002 Law 2/1995, of 2 March, against the Sale and Advertising of Alcoholic Beverages to Minors 
Castilla and Leon: Law 3/2007, of 7 March, modifying the Law 3/1994, of 29 March, on Prevention, Support and Social Integration of the Drug-dependent 
Catalunya: Law 1/2002, of 11 March, third modification of the Law 20/1985, of 25 July, on Prevention and Support related to Substances that can generate dependence 
Valencian Community: Legislative Decree 1/2003, or 1 April, approving the revised text of the Law on Drug Dependencies and Other Addictive Disorders 
Extremadura: Law 1/1999, of 29 March, on Prevention, Support and Reintegration related to Drug Dependencies 
Galicia: Law 11/2010, of 17 December, on Prevention of the Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages by Minors 
Madrid: Law 5/2002, of 27 June, on Drug Dependencies and Other Addictive Disorders 
Murcia: Law 6/1997, of 22 October, on Drugs, for Prevention, Support and Social Integration 
Navarra: Regional Law 10/1991, on Prevention and Limitation of the COnsumption of Alcoholic Beverages by Minors 
Basque Country: Law 18/1998, of 25 June, on Prevention, Support and Integration related to Drug Dependencies 
La Rioja: Law 5/2001, of 17 October, on Drug Dependencies and Other Addictions
Sri Lanka 21 21   National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Act 27 of 2006 Part II Art 31
Sudan [all sale is prohibited] [all sale is prohibited]   Penal Code 1991, Art 78-79
Suriname 18 18   Law 44 of 2015 on Further Amendment of the Criminal Code
Swaziland 18 18   Liquor Licences Act of 1964 Sec 27
Sweden 18 [varies by beverage] 18 for beer of 3.5% ABV or lower, 20 otherwise Alcohol Act (SFS 2010:1622) Cap 3 Art 7 
Switzerland [varies by beverage and jurisdiction] [varies by beverage and jurisdiction] 18 for spirits 


16 or 18 for beer and wine depending on the Canton
Order on foodstuffs and consumer goods of 23 November 2005 Art. 11 


Federal Law on Alcohol of 21 June 1932, as amended through 2011 Art. 41
Syria [none] [none]   [n/a]
Tajikistan 18 18   Law 451 of 1997 on State Regulation of Production and Turnover of Ethyl Alcohol and Alcohol Products
Tanzania 18 18   Law No. 21 Law of the Child (2009), Article 17
Thailand 20 20   Alcohol Beverage Control Act B.E. 2551 Sec 29
Timor-Leste [none] [none]   [n/a]
Togo [none] [none]   [n/a]
Tonga 21 21   Intoxicating Liquor Act Cap 84 Art 65 as amended in 2014
Trinidad and Tobago 18 18   Liquor Licences Act Cap 84:10 Art 60, as amended 2002
Turkey 18 18   Regulation about Retail Sale of Tobacco and Tobacco Products and Alcohol and Alcoholic Drinks 11 January 1998 Art 5
Turkmenistan 18 18   Law on Trade Art 33
Uganda 18 * 18 *16 for beer, wine, perry, porter, cider, or native liquor with a meal in a meal-service section of the premises Liquor Act of 1960 Cap 93
Ukraine 18 18   Law N 1824-VI 21 January 2010 Art 15-3 
United Arab Emirates [varies by religion and jurisdiction] [varies by religion and jurisdiction]   [n/a]
United Kingdom 18 * 18  *16 for beer, cider, and wine with a meal and bought by and accompanied by an adult. This does not apply in Northern Ireland. Licensing Act 2003 and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005
United States 21 * [varies by jurisdiction] See the NIAAA Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS) for more details
*18 for on-premise and off-premise sales in Puerto Rico (Law 118, 18 October 1984)
The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 (Title 23 U.S.C. §158)
Uruguay 18 18   Code of Childhood and Adolescence 
Uzbekistan 20 20   Law 302 On restriction of Distribution and Taking of Alcohol and Tobacco Products 2011
Vanuatu 18 18   Liquor Licensing Act Art 17
Venezuela 18 18   Natural Law for the Protection of Children and Adolescents 5/266 1998
Vietnam 18 18   Prime Minister's Decision 2044 QD-TTg: National Policy on Prevention of Harmful Use of Alcoholic Beverages 2014-2020 
Yemen [all sale is prohibited] [all sale is prohibited]   [n/a]
Zambia [varies by beverage] [varies by beverage] on-premise: 18 for beverages of 3%ABV or higher except traditional beer; 16 for traditional beer 


on-premise: 14 for beverages of 3%ABV or higher except traditional beer; 16 for traditional beer
Liquor Licensing Act 20/2011 


Traditional Beer Act and Regulations
Zimbabwe 18 18   Liquor Act as amended in 2001