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The legal drinking age is the minimum age at which a person can legally consume alcoholic beverages. Legal drinking age laws vary from country to country, but the vast majority of the world has a drinking age limit of 18 or younger. Many countries have exceptions, for example, the drinking age in Germany. Governments set drinking age restrictions to ensure minors’ health and safety:

Keep reading to figure out the drinking age in several countries.

Keep These Legal Drinking Age Restrictions In Mind Before Traveling To Other Countries

Governments set drinking age restrictions to ensure minors’ health and safety – Source: straitstimes.com

Drinking Age In Germany

German law has strict regulations on the drinking age and imposes heavy penalties on those who sell or let children drink alcohol.

In Germany, the Protection of Young Persons Act (JuSchG) is designed not to keep young people away from alcoholic beverages but to educate them on an appropriate alcohol approach. Under this law, the state sets the legal age for buying alcohol and requires that customers be checked if in doubt.

Drinking Age In Germany

JuSchG aims to educate minors on an appropriate alcohol approach – Source: expatica.com

Current Drinking Age And Related Rules

In reality, there are 3 age thresholds for alcohol consumption in Germany: 14 years, 16 years, and 18 years old.

Teenagers aged 14 to 15 years accompanied by their parents or guardians can drink low-alcohol alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and sparkling wine in public places, bars, or restaurants.

Children from 16 to 18 years old can buy and drink alcoholic (or fermented) beverages such as beer and light alcohol without adult guardianship. 

When reaching 18, adolescents can legally consume (including buying and drinking) products with high alcohol content, such as brandy, spirits.

These restrictions do not apply to married teenagers.

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Punishments For Violation

In reality, the Youth Protection Act prohibits children under 14 from drinking alcohol.

Violations of the drinking age in Germany may also lead to punishment for dealers who sell alcoholic drinks to minors and bystanders who neglect underage drinking.

MisdemeanorPossible fine (retailer & business operator)Standard fine (retailer & business operator)Possible fine (other)Standard fine (other)
Selling or serving spirits or food products, containing more than insignificant quantities of spirits, to a child under 14 years of age€1,000 – €4,000€3,000€300 – €1,000€500
Selling or serving spirits or food products, containing more than insignificant quantities of spirits, to a young person over the age of 14 but under the age of 18 years€700 – €3,500€2,000€100 – €500€300
Selling or serving beer, wine, wine-like beverages or sparkling wine or mixtures of beer, wine, wine-like beverages or sparkling wine and soft drinks, to a child under 14 years of age€700 – €3,500€2,500€100 – €500€300
Selling or serving beer, wine, wine-like beverages or sparkling wine or mixtures of beer, wine, wine-like beverages or sparkling wine and soft drinks, to an unaccompanied young person over 14 years but under 16 years of age€500 – €3,000€2,000€100 – €500€300

Punishments for violation of drinking age in Germany – Source: Wikipedia

Generally, the violation of selling, furnishing, and distributing alcoholic drinks to minors under the requisite age limits can result in fines ranging from 500 to 4,000 euros, based on the age level.

Punishments For Violation

Liquor sellers can get fines ranging from 500 to 4000 euros – Source: paymentscardsandmobile.com

Enforcement Of Drinking Age In Germany

According to the Ministry of Health, alcohol consumption per capita has decreased in recent years to an average of 10.6 liters of pure alcohol in 2018, while alcohol use of those aged 18 to 24 has remained stagnant since 2014.

We can see from the data that, in general, everyone obeys those drinking age limitations. However, there are still some violations or circumvention.

Enforcement Of Drinking Age In Germany

Alcohol consumption per capita has decreased in Germany recent years – Source: lrt.lt

In 2009, police carried out 3,000 trap purchases in Lower Saxony, in which 1,327 cases (44%), alcohol supplies occurred without age verification to the underage buyers. Hundreds of violated cases resulted in administrative penalties ranging from 500 to 3,000 euros.

Although restrictions about the drinking age in Germany are widespread and public nationwide, several salespeople still broke the legislation at the regulations’ introduction time.

Since the implementation of the restrictions on the drinking age in Germany, supermarkets and stores have generally checked minors’ identity cards before selling alcohol.

Drinking Age In Mexico

Current Drinking Age In Mexico and Related Rules

In fact, the legal drinking age in Mexico is 18 years old.

Each state of Mexico determines the minimum age for the purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages. But all states have a minimum age of 18, and in no State it is legal for adolescents to buy and drink alcohol.

Related Rules

In no State of Mexico, it is legal for adolescents to consume alcohol – Source: expatica.com

Punishments For Violation

In reality, the local authority controls the license to distribute alcohol in Mexico. This license can be suspended if the owner infringes the restriction on the drinking age in Mexico by selling alcoholic beverages to adolescents.

Punishments For Violation Of Drinking Age In Mexico

Punishments for violation of drinking age in Mexico – Source: Manchester Evening News

Here are punishments if minors consume alcoholic drinks.

For the first violation of the drinking age in Mexico, the defendant will deal with a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000). Additionally, the offender will fulfill obligations imposed by the sentencing court to complete thirty hours of community service relating to minimizing the cases of driving when under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

For the second violation, besides the above penalties, the violator will be subject to driver’s license suspension for 90 days. In reality, if the minor is not old enough to get a driver’s license at the time of the violation, 90 days shall be added to the date he/she becomes eligible to possess a driver’s license.

For the third violation, the driver’s license suspension period increases to 2 years or until the perpetrator hits the age of twenty-one, depending on which period is longer.

In Mexico, using a false ID to obtain alcohol is a criminal offense.

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Enforcement

There is serious enforcement of the drinking age in Mexico

However, regulation is more difficult to implement in large cities. Major retailers should not sell to adolescents, but some small ones do. 

In the small towns, the control is tighter. If a person sees someone selling liquor to teenagers, they tend to report to the authorities immediately.

Enforcement Of Drinking Age In Mexico

The control is tighter in the small towns – Source: Gary Yim from Shutterstock.com

Drinking Age In Canada

Wanna go to a bar for a drink or buy some beer, wine, or spirits in Canada? You can – as long as you are old enough and can prove it. Here’s what you need to know about the ages at which you can drink, buy, or get served alcohol. So, how old do you have to be to drink in Canada?

Current Drinking Age In Canada and Related Rules

In reality, the minimum legal drinking age is 18 years old in Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, and 19 in the rest of the country.

Current Drinking Age and Related Rules

How old do you have to be to drink in Canada? Source: Getty Images

In general, minors do not have permission to enter bars or pubs. In particular, there are several exceptions that only in the privacy of their own home can parents, guardians, or spouses of minors provide liquor to their child or minor spouse. This exemption would not permit them to serve alcohol to any other minors present in their home.

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Punishments For Violation

The fine for those who provide alcoholic drinks to adolescents is a minimum of $500, and the alcohol givers may also be held legally liable for any resulting damages or accidents. 

Besides, if minors are caught possessing liquor, purchasing liquor, or just being found inside a bar or pub, or try to buy liquor using a false ID, they can receive a $230 violation ticket fine.

Punishments For Violatio In Canada

Violated minors can receive a $230 violation ticket fine – Source: fgib.com

Enforcement Of Drinking Age There

Dr. Russell Callaghan, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of North British Columbia (UNBC), stated that the drinking-age law significantly reduced mortality among adolescents, especially young men.

According to research pieces, increasing the age of drinking alcohol to 19 in Alberta, Manitoba, and Québec prevents 7 deaths of 18-year-old men each year.

If you want to learn more about drinking ages around the world, check out the following video and visit our Gossip section to read more interesting facts.

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By Layla Anderson

Layla Anderson is a full-time career consultant and joined JobandEdu in 2021 as a freelance writer. Before joining, Layla helps students and entry-level worker finds their career path and guides them through the application process. She starts taking on writing as she believes all people deserve to know about job details and the application process as well as the working environment before actually making their life-changing choices. She also writes to share her interests and valuable and useful knowledge.

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