Legal Guide

What is the legal drinking age in India?

by Bhavya Choudhary · 3 min read

Legal drinking age in India

Introduction

  • There has been a considerable amount of increase in alcohol consumption in India in the past years as more and more new-generation youngsters think this is a natural lifestyle. The harms and laws related to alcohol consumption co-exist. 
  • The government has imposed strict regulations for drinking and dry days to curb the side effects overall by imposing the legal drinking age in India.
  • The consumption rate of Alcohol is substantially higher, and it is operating as a big business all over the country. The kinds of drinks available are beer, whisky, gin, rum, vodka, wine, and many other types. 
  • They are intoxicating substances in nature and can be harmful if not consumed in a controlled manner. To keep a report on the situation, the government introduced a strict legal drinking age in India.

Legal Drinking Age in India

  • The production and sale of alcohol never decrease in India, as reports state it has only increased with the passing days. There are additional taxes imposed on liquor. This is a government-imposed legal drinking age in India that is a way to curtail the purchase with liberal output and attitude. 
  • A major part of liquor taxes contributes to the economy of our country, which is another reason why alcohol is never banned.
  • When the pandemic took a toll on the economy and everything was under lockdown, there was a great recession and loss in every sector. 
  • It was inevitable due to the circumstances, but when the lockdown was raised, the liquor stores were the first to operate freely again. Thus, renewing the economy faster than any other business.
  • The culture of consumption is checked with some laws which are imposed to regulate the immediate distribution. These laws are different for every state, as the legal drinking age in India varies from one state to another.

Indian alcohol laws

  • Every state governs its regulations related to the legal drinking age in India as they impose taxes, additional rules, and dry days accordingly.
  • The Constitution of India contains 12 schedules. Of these 12 schedules, schedule VII is associated with subjects which are three lists:

i) Union list

ii) State list

iii) Concurrent list

  • Of the three lists, item number 51 of the State list governs the rules and regulations for alcohol consumption. It empowers the legislature to draft regulations and laws for the production and business of liquor and also controls the legal drinking age in India.
  • The liquor laws are, therefore, different for each state as decided upon by the legislature. Similarly, the legal drinking age in India is also different for each state. 
  • If any individual is facing charges regarding the same, they must consider taking legal consultation. Parents and relatives may also seek legal advice if the laws are not being adhered to or are being misused.
  • Different states have different criteria formed to manage the sale, production, and legal drinking age in India.
  • The legal drinking age in India can be the same for two or more states, but the production and sale of such are altered according to the state legislature. Some states have made it mandatory for vendors to attain a license from the government to sell alcohol in their stores.
  • The place of production and sale is also regulated by some states along with the legal drinking age in India, as they mention the specific regulations regarding it.

The legal drinking age in different states

The State has set a Legal drinking age in India for cultural and moral upholding, to control the consumption rate, and to manage its production and illegal usage. It is a big step to keep the youth managed with the intake of intoxicating substances. The new generation is the country’s future, and the mentality must be kept determined and focused on prior regulations.

The respective laws in each state for the legal drinking age in India are as mentioned below:

The dry states in India

The states which have prohibited/banned the consumption and production of alcohol are called dry states. It is directly connected with standard health and living society which is focused on more and regulated accordingly. The ban was opposed many times, but the government did not budge as it is for this society’s well-being.

The states are:

  • Bihar
  • Gujarat
  • Manipur
  • Nagaland

These states have strict rules for liquor production and consumption, stating that this action is not allowed in such states who are dry. Whatever the legal drinking age in India has been set by these states, the activity is banned.

In these states, if there is any sale deed or contract to sell the liquor, the sale deed will be void contrary to Law. 

Conclusion

The legal drinking age in India and its laws about it are very dynamic and diverse related to different subjects. The minimum age limit to consume alcohol has been set by different state legislatures, and it will be strictly punishable to break any such law. The chances of such errors are reduced by taking legal consultation on such matters where needed.

Asking for help and taking legal advice is necessary if an individual or their family is under pressure and facing Law related complications.

Bhavya Choudhary

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Bhavya Choudhary

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