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Alcohol Laws in India

There are various liquor laws in India and there is no uniformity in them at all. The concept of alcohol is mentioned in the state list in the seventh section of the constitution of India. Therefore, the law governing the selling and consumption of alcobev varies from state to state. It also includes the legal drinking age.

Licenses are required for the sale of alcohol, and in some particular states, so are the customers. Liquor outlets, bars, pubs, discotheques, nightclubs, restaurants and hotels are typically authorized for the sale of alcohol. Furthermore, beaches and houseboats too require a valid license to sell alcohol to visitors; otherwise the sale of alcohol to them will be illegal and is prohibited.

Legal age for consumption of alcobev 

The age permitted for consuming alcohol also varies from state to state. And the drinking and buying age of alcohol is different in the states as well. This disparity, in the purchase and consumption of alcohol, leads to confusion which makes it difficult to enforce the law on the age of consumption of alcohol.

States where minimum drinking age is 18 years 

  • Andaman Nicobar islands
  • Pondicherry
  • Rajasthan
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Kerala
  • Mizoram
  • Sikkim
  • Goa

States where minimum drinking age is 21 years 

  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Assam
  • Arunachal Pradesh
  • Chhattisgarh
  • Dadra and Nagar Haveli
  • Daman and Diu
  • Jammu and Kashmir
  • Jharkhand
  • Karnataka
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Orissa
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Telangana
  • Tripura
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Uttrakhand
  • West Bengal

States where minimum drinking age is 25 years 

  • Chandigarh
  • Delhi
  • Haryana
  • Meghalaya
  • Punjab

States where drinking is illegal 

Such states are also referred to as DRY STATES. The purchase and consuming alcohol is prohibited in these states of India, which completely prevent the sale, consumption and even the possession of liquor.

  • Bihar
  • Gujarat
  • Lakshadweep
  • Manipur
  • Nagaland

Dry days 

There are several days known as dry days when alcohol is prohibited in all over India, regardless of the states. Republic Day (26 January), Independence Day (15 August) and Gandhi Jayanti (2 October) are generic dry days throughout India as they are considered as the National Holidays. So every state is obligated to mark the day as a DRY DAY. Also every state has its own set of dry days depending on the religious demographics, celebrations and festivals in the India.

Drunken driving laws 

The BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) is fixed at 0.03% or 30 mg alcohol in 100 ml blood. On 1 March 2012, the Union Cabinet has approved proposed amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act. A higher penalty, including fines from ₹2,000 to ₹10,000 and imprisonment from 6 months to 4 years has been introduced. Further, different fines are levied on the basis of the blood alcohol content at the time of the offence.

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