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Legal Ages around the World for Drinking

The legal drinking age is 18 in Abu Dhabi (although a Ministry of Tourism regulation allows hotels to serve alcohol only to people over 21) and 21 in Dubai and the Northern Emirates (except Sharjah, where alcohol consumption is prohibited). [113] In other words, of all the factors that could increase your risk of death or disability — such as smoking or physical inactivity — drinking too much was the leading global risk factor in this age group, according to a study published in The Lancet in August. “Europe is generally very high, both for the adult population and for 15-19 year olds,” Rekve said. More than a fifth of the European population aged 15 and over reported heavy episodic use at least once a week, according to the WHO. In no other country did more than half of adolescents in this age group report heavy episodic alcohol consumption in the past 30 days. Although the majority of countries in the world have set the MLDA at 18, 16 is considered the youngest age to drink. At least eight countries and regions have committed to their MLDA for a period of 16 years. These countries include Barbados, British Virginia Islands, Cuba, Luxembourg, Panama, Serbia, Serbia and Zimbabwe. In these countries, it is a criminal offence to sell, give or offer alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of 16. However, in Zimbabwe, a person is permitted to sell or provide alcoholic beverages to children under the age of 16 if there is evidence of a written document signed by the parents or guardians of the minor known to the person selling the alcohol.

Countries where no youth aged 15 to 19 reported heavy episodic alcohol consumption in the past 30 days were Mauritania, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. The second most common minimum age for alcohol consumption is 18. In fact, 35% of the countries on our list follow this rule. The most common third age for drinking is listed as “illegal” and the fourth most common age is 21, just like in the United States. The U.S. is twinned with only seven other countries with a drinking age of 21 or four percent, making the U.S. a minority. Believe it or not, the United States is not a unique country for alcohol policy. While the U.S. is known for its drinking age of 21, this strict limit of 21 is not the case for all states. The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 withholds money from states that allow those under 21 to purchase alcohol.

Before the law went into effect in 1984, each state had its own drinking age, which varied widely. In 2016, Luxembourg was the country with the highest percentage of 15-19 year olds reporting heavy episodic alcohol consumption in the past 30 days, with 54%. It was followed by Equatorial Guinea with 53.7 per cent and Lithuania with 53.2 per cent. It is prohibited to sell alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of 18. It is also forbidden for minors to buy and consume alcohol. [9] Would you like to know more about the legal drinking age in the world? Check out the map below to find out the legal drinking age in countries around the world! Whatever your perspective on the different global alcohol policies, the map above offers a glimpse into the lives of young adults around the world. Create your own map like the one above with BatchGeo. The highest age to consume alcohol is 25 in some parts of some countries, including parts of India. The legal drinking age in the United States, Kazakhstan and Micronesia is 21.

Several other countries, including Japan and Iceland, follow with an age of 20. In these countries, it is believed that setting a higher minimum age for alcohol consumption encourages people to take more responsibility and also reduces the incidence of accidents involving adolescents and alcohol. In most countries, the age at which alcohol can be consumed is 18. In the late 20th century, much of North America changed its legal drinking age (MLDA) as follows: However, he added that many European countries have recently seen a decline in alcohol consumption, reflecting the number of teenagers who abstain from drinking altogether. The legal drinking age is the minimum age at which a person can legally consume alcoholic beverages. The minimum age at which alcohol can be legally consumed may differ from the age at which it can be purchased in some countries. These laws vary from country to country and many laws provide for exceptions or special circumstances. Most laws only apply to alcohol consumption in public places, with alcohol consumption in the home generally unregulated (an exception is the UK, which has a legal age of five for supervised consumption in private places).

Some countries also have different age limits for different types of alcoholic beverages. [1] Most countries have a legal drinking age of 18 or 19. [2] In the 1970s, provincial and state policymakers in Canada and the United States switched to lower MLDAs (set at 21 in most provinces, territories and states) to coincide with the age of judicial majority – usually 18. As a result, MLDAs have been reduced in all Canadian provinces [and] in more than half of U.S. states. In Canada, however, two provinces, Ontario (1979) and Saskatchewan (1976), rapidly increased their subsequent AOMLs from ages 18 to 19 in response to some studies showing a link between lowering the drinking age and increasing alcohol-related harms among adolescents and young adults, including increases in motor vehicle crashes and alcohol poisoning among high school students. Following the reduction of AMRs in the United States, research conducted in several states provided convincing evidence of a sharp increase in fatal and non-fatal traffic accident rates that occurred immediately after the introduction of a lower age for drinking. These scientific discoveries increased public pressure on legislators to increase MLDAs, and in response, the federal government introduced the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, which required a reduction in highway funding for states if they did not increase their MLDA to 21. All states complied and introduced a 21-year MLDA in 1988. [39] As the WHO says, the consumption of alcoholic beverages is a large part of social gatherings and celebrations in many parts of the world, but moderation remains key.

The most recent legal age in the world is 15, with Mali and the Central African Republic currently allowing alcohol consumption. Seven countries do not have state-mandated drinking age, while 11 countries ban alcohol consumption altogether. So we have a culture of alcohol consumption that is very accepted, but slowly changing. I think changes in attitude are partly responsible for why we see the declines,” she said. Those percentages were down from 2013, when it was reported by 10.2 percent, 25.7 percent and 39.2 percent of eighth, 10, and 12th graders, respectively, according to the report. Most Russians believe that the minimum drinking age in the country is 18. However, there are no laws or regulations prohibiting minors from consuming alcoholic beverages. On the contrary, selling alcohol to people under the age of 18 is prohibited by federal and state laws and can result in fines and even jail time.

On the other hand, the youngest age of alcohol consumption on our list belongs to Germany. If a 14-year-old is accompanied by a parent or guardian, it is legal in Germany to consume or buy beer, wine and cider. Without a parent or guardian, you must be at least 16 years old to consume or purchase alcohol. However, when it comes to a high percentage, you must be 18 years of age or older to serve, sell or deliver.

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