Legal Age of Drinking and Debates Worldwide

The legal age of drinking is the minimum legally allowed age that a person is permitted to get access to or purchase an alcoholic beverage (a drink containing ethanol). These beverages include beers, wines, and spirits. It however differs from that age that one may be allowed to drink alcohol. This general law also has its own complications/excerptions whereby in many nations the age of drinking is dissimilar in public, private places, inside bars and may also apply differently to a variety of spirits. This paper therefore discusses the legally allowed drinking age all over the world.

Across the world, different states have different age limits regarding drinking and access to alcohol. Some of the Islamic nations totally forbid Muslims and in other cases all citizens from taking alcohol despite their age. Continentally, the drinking permissions vary too, depending on the states governing them. In Europe for example, consumption of alcoholic drinks may sometimes be permitted provided they are within the seclusion of the drinker’s homes. Austria allows those above 16 to only drink but cannot purchase until they attain the age of 18. Denmark and France have no age limit for consumption but restrict purchasing unless one is 18. Contrary to this, in Germany, it is okay for 14 years old to drink alcohol provided they are with their parents. On the other hand, certain states like India have set their drinking age to as far as 28 years of age. Conversely, drinking is completely forbidden in Manipur, Mizoram, and Gujarat states. It is totally illegal to drink or purchase alcohol in Afghanistan, Brunei, Bangladesh, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen while the other nations have a varying limit of ranging from 18-21 years of age except for Indonesia which has 15/16-21 as advisable drinking ages in the Asian continent.

In Africa, the limit ranges from 18 years in most countries including the Islamic ones except in The Gambia where it is banned by Islamic law. In Cameroon, it is legal for an 18-year-old to drink while in their premises and at 21 out of their premises. In Egypt wines and spirits are only allowed to individuals above 21 years while those below it and above 18 are only restricted to beers. Eritrea, Morocco, Sudan, and Zambia have their legal drinking age as low as 16 years. Most States in Oceania have a legal drinking age of 18-21 years except Tokelau which has a lower restriction age of 16.

In America, most of the countries have set the legal age to 18 with a few at 19 like Nicaragua and Canada. Canada allows underage drinking but in the presence of parents with some limitations on their own home.

United States of America’s drinking age is legalized at 21 except for the United States Virgin Islands, Uruguay, and Venezuela which is 18 years. As declared by the NMDAA (National Minimum Drinking Age Act) 1984, a state which accepted alcohol acquisition to persons under the age of twenty-one risked their returns being withdrawn. To this, some states banned the presence of minors in Liquor stores while other states forbade drinking by young adults in private places. By 2007, over fourteen states barred underage alcohol consumption, 18 have not yet forbidden it completely while 18 others have places for family members’ exceptions.

In South Carolina, being in possession of alcoholic beverages and consuming the same is at present permitted. This follows a judge’s verdict even though another verdict by judges in the governing circuit court disallowed this. Therefore as shown in this paper, the legal age of drinking is determined by the laws of the specific country/state or other believes i.e. religious beliefs.

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