Drinking age in the UK
The United Kingdom has some very numerous explications of its drinking laws, and lots of restrictions, points, and items to follow when you’re looking at its legal drinking age laws. Let’s start at the beginning and work our way to the top, in terms of age. The laws can seem convoluted at first, but they’re easy to understand if you apply them in the context of the age you are. You don’t need to know about all the different details of the drinking age laws all at once.
Children that are under the age of five years old cannot get alcohol for any other reasons than medically. A child between the ages of five and 17 can drink alcohol at their own residence, or that of a friend’s, as long as there is the permission of a legal guardian. The lowest age that an adult can purchase alcohol is 18. Minors that are 16 and 17 can drink wine, cider, or beer on premises that are licensed if they order the drinks with a meal. If a minor is in England or Wales, it has to be an adult that orders the drinks. An adult doesn’t have to be at the restaurant with a minor in order for the minor to order a drink with his meal in Scotland. The legal purchase age for alcohol is just 18. The legal age to purchase chocolates with licqueurs is 16, but this law has little enforcement.
Customers that try to buy alcohol, but look under the age of 21 years old are asked to show how old they are if they look like they are under the age of 21 years old, which is kind of weird because the law states that they have to just be 18 to buy the alcohol. Supermarkets and off-license stores will not sell alcohol to those that look under 21 and don’t have an ID.
Supermarkets or off-license stores that are observed to have broken this law repeatedly and have sold alcohol to people that are under the age of 18 regularly will then be forced to ask those that look 25 or younger if they have an ID. If they do not do this, they will lose their alcoholic beverage license.
Buying alcohol for a minor is illegal anywhere in the United Kingdom. This means that someone will act as minor’s agent in the transaction.
Drinking alcohol is a serious step in life, and while some countries make allowances for social occasions, meals, and use within the residence, alcohol use can spiral out of control if the person is too young and unrestrained in their drinking. The legal drinking age is put in place for safety and health reasons, and not to punish or chastise youth. Take alcohol drinking lightly, have a little taste here and there, and drink inside the home. This can stave off future excessive or binge drinking. In the end, it’s really all about the parents teaching the children to use alcohol responsibly.