The legal drinking age can be said as the age when an individual gets legal permission to take alcoholic drinks. Legal drinking age, just like the alcohol regulatory laws on the sale and use of alcoholic drinks vary from one jurisdiction to another. Some countries have general laws on buying and drinking alcoholic drinks while others have laws on when a person should be legally allowed to buy and drink alcohol in public places and other laws on when to buy and take alcohol in private places like a home. Regardless of the laws imposed, the main objective of restricting access and use of alcohol are meant to protect young people.
Legal Drinking Age
There are some countries in the world that do not have a legal drinking age and in such, anyone at any age can consume alcohol from childhood ages and with some countries completely prohibiting alcohol in their jurisdictions. Now, there are some occasions that even if there is no legal drinking age, alcohol may be seized by authorities and without any compensation for seizure.
Countries which do not have any legal drinking age include Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Swaziland, Morocco, Comoros, Albania, Viet Nam Fiji, Gabon, Togo, Jamaica, Guinea Bissau among others. A number of countries have laws that permit the use of alcohol drinks as from the age of 16 years. Some of the countries whose legal drinking age is 16 years include Antigua, Germany, Georgia, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Norway, Belgium among others. Cyprus is the only country in the world with 17 years as its legal drinking age.
Many countries in the world embrace 18 years as the legal drinking age. Some of the countries whose legal drinking age is 18 years include Argentina, China, Cameron, Brazil, Botswana, Czech, Croatia, Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Chile, Lesotho, Ireland, Israel, France, Finland, Egypt, Mexico, Norway, Nigeria, Samoa, Philippines, Russia, Mauritius, Hungary, South Africa, United Kingdom, Turkey, Thailand, Sweden to name but a few. Nicaragua and South Korea are the only jurisdictions with 19 years as their legal drinking age. In Japan, Iceland and Paraguay you must attain 20 years to have the legal permission to buy and consume alcoholic drinks in public places. Fiji, Palau, some states in US and for non-Muslims in Pakistan, 21 years is the legal drinking age. There are some areas in India whose legal drinking age is as high as 25 years.
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In as much as the above information is correct, there are some countries which will not charge underage persons for being in possession or for consuming alcohol but instead will charge those who availed the alcohol drinks or those who sold to them.
Previously many countries in the world had 21 years as their designated legal drinking age, but then the minimum age for taking part in some other activities like voting prompted the lowering of the legal drinking age. However, the lowering had a number of effects which included an increase in the number of motor crashes and accidents increased and this led to some countries restoring the 21 years as the designated and legal drinking age but many countries did not restore the ages.