Drinking Age in China
The legal drinking age in China is 18, and this law was introduced in 2006. The law is not very strictly enforced. There is a rigid enforcement of any laws pertaining to public intoxication though, because that’s a big no-no. Because so much of China is rural, it is hard to enforce the legal drinking age. However, in the bigger cities, the legal drinking age is 18.
China recently changed their laws in 2006 to ban he underage consumption of alcohol by minors over concerns that lenient attitudes of parents and teachers have made a burgeoning problem worse with drinking underage.
The ban was put into place on New Year’s Day, and it stops the sale of beverages that have an alcohol content that is over .5 percent or anything above that to anyone under the age of 18, and the legislation was posted on the Commerce Ministry website initially.
Those that break the law can be fined a lot of money, up to $250 for serious infractions of the law. The good news is that retailers were given three months to implement the laws to the fullest degree possible. The ban is just a regulation, however, and it is not a law, so people are not sure how it will be enforced.
There were a lot of shops that were already putting up signs that said they didn’t serve alcohol to minors, but China never formally imposed on those bans, until now. The only prior reference to anything in the law was that minors should not be allowed to abuse alcohol, if possible.
Sociologists are quick to observe the reasons for the growing drinking problem. They say that the rise in underage drinking is connected to the growing income in the inner city, and that there is a growing independence among children to liberally indulge in the spread of alcohol at restaurants, bars, and other leisure venues.
A lot are pointing out that alcohol abuse was previously ignored amongst minors, and that it was ignored in schools and social settings compared to the plagues of drug use and smoking cigarettes.
There was never an effective way to prevent the problem like there was overseas, one observer noted.
In conjunction with the ban on underage drinking, the Commerce Ministry lists the procedures for the regulation and circulation of alcohol, and it makes sure that vendors get the licenses they need for the sale of alcohol and to make sure that the alcohol is pure and safe.
China is a wide, sprawling, huge, and vast land, and it is hard to enforce the drinking laws all over. However, it is easy to enforce them in the inner cities. Urban areas are sources of big problems with underage drinking because of the rising urban income and the spread of alcohol at leisure venues.
China will certainly be taking steps to curb underage drinking in the years to come, even more so than it is already doing now, as their economy grows and modernizes.