4. For medical purposes: Consumption of alcohol by minors is permitted in some states for medical purposes. Each state sets its own specific requirements for what is considered legal. Alcohol consumption varies considerably from country to country, as does the legal drinking age. In the United States, you must be at least 21 years of age or older to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages (with some exceptions in some jurisdictions). Surprisingly, this is one of the highest ages in the world to drink. To the north of the United States is Canada, which has a legal drinking age of 18 to 19, and the legal drinking age is much lower in many other countries. In fact, some countries don`t have a minimum drinking age (although there may be a minimum age to buy alcohol) – although the vast majority of these countries still have laws on the age you need to have to buy alcoholic beverages. Conversely, in some countries (usually under strict Muslim rule), alcohol consumption is completely prohibited.
In Asia, Singapore has the strictest alcohol laws. The sale and consumption of alcohol is prohibited from 10:30 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Manzoor Butt, “Illegal Alcohol Consumption Kills Hundreds Every Year in Pakistan; Primary care physicians must take a more proactive role in saving precious lives,” Middle East Journal of Business, April 2015 This limit remained constant until the late 1960s and 1970s. Meanwhile, many states have lowered the minimum drinking age to 18. 2. On private premises, not selling liquor, without parental consent: The consumption of alcohol by minors is not prohibited in some states in private premises that do not sell liquor, although it may be illegal for adults to provide alcohol to minors in those states. Each state sets its own specific requirements for what is considered legal.
In Central America, the Caribbean and South America, the legal drinking age and the legal purchasing age range from 0 to 20 years (see table below). Specifically, in South America, the legal age of purchase is 18, with two exceptions: Bangladesh Benin Cambodia Cameroon Canada: Varies by province and territory from 18 to 19 years. China Comoros Congo Djibouti Gabon: On-site sales are limited to people aged 18 and over. Ghana Guinea-Bissau Haiti India: Varies by state from no legal sales to 25 years and older. Indonesia: Off-site sales are limited to individuals 21 years of age and older. Lao People`s Democratic Republic: The sale of beer on site is limited to persons aged 18 and over. Mali Niue: On-site sales are limited to people aged 18 and over. Rwanda: On-site sales are limited to people aged 18 and over. Sao Tome and Principe Sierra Leone Syria Timor-Leste Togo Children`s Act Section 78 – No person shall sell, loan, give, deliver, provide or offer liquor to children under 16 years of age unless a written order given by the child`s parent or guardian is known to that person: has been signed. The police have a duty to confiscate any alcoholic beverage in the possession of a child under the age of 16 without the written consent of parents or guardians.  It is prohibited to consume alcohol in public places, except in designated drinking areas, regardless of age.
This card masks an incredible complexity and variety of exceptions for minors. Some states make exceptions when minors are allowed to consume alcohol. Others make exceptions if they are allowed to own it. Still other states, such as Arkansas, do not have exemptions for possession or consumption by minors, but still make exceptions for parents who want to provide alcohol to their children. All of this adds up to a confusing mess that is almost impossible for parents, teens, and even lawyers to understand. I asked Hanson what he thought of the legal situation in Arkansas, where the law also states that minors are prohibited from possessing alcohol under any circumstances, but that parents can still give alcohol to their children. If a parent gives a child a drink, does that mean the child is breaking the law, but the parent is not? Want to know more about the legal drinking age around the world? Check out the map below to find out the legal drinking age in countries around the world! From 1976 to 1983, several states voluntarily raised their purchasing age to 19 (or, less frequently, 20 or 21), in part to combat drunk driving deaths. [ref. In 1984, Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which required states to raise their purchasing and public ownership age to 21 in October 1986 or lose 10 percent of their federal funding for roads.