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Age restrictions on the sale and consumption of Alcohol.

Alcohol is considered a drug in its own right, but the laws about young people and alcohol vary from the laws about other drugs.

What is a 'Licensed Premises'?

In order to sell alcohol, a business e.g. A shop or a pub needs to have a licence. This is a document which gives them permission to sell alcohol.

Age Restrictions

Under 16

You can not buy or knowingly consume (drink)
alcohol on licensed premises.

You are not allowed in any place which is licensed mainly for the buying and drinking of alcohol on site unless you are with someone who is 18 or older.

You can go in to a restaurant which has a license to sell alcohol without someone who is 18 or older, but not between the hours of midnight and 5am and you can not buy or drink alcohol there.

You are not allowed to buy liqueur chocolates.

16 or 17

You can buy or be bought beer, cider or wine, if you are having a meal at a table in a restaurant area and you are accompanied by someone who is 18 or over.

Under 18

If you work in a place where alcohol is sold such as a supermarket or corner shop, you may only sell alcohol where the sale has been approved by a responsible person who is 18 or older.

You can not sell or supply alcohol to anyone under 18.


Police officers are allowed to confiscate (take away) alcohol from anyone under 18 drinking it in a public place.