Legal Drinking Ages Around the World


You’d be surprised to hear some of the legal drinking ages around the world which range from 13 to 25.

On the extreme ends of the scale, in Burkino Faso the legal drinking age is 13 and in Eritrea its 25.

According to data from the World Health Organisation, in 2016 there were 11 countries that did not have age limits for on-premise service of alcohol and 24 did not have age limits for off-premise purchase of alcohol.

In the other extreme there are some countries that don’t allow alcohol at all including Iran, Yemen and certain Saudi Arabian countries.

Most countries set their legal age for drinking around 18,20 and 21.

The purpose the legal drinking age regulation is to address alcohol harm on vulnerable groups such as teenagers.  In Australia 38.9 per cent of teenagers have consumed alcohol heavily, which is high in comparison to the rest of the world. The World Health Organisation says teenage drinking is usually higher in wealthier countries. That is why our responsibility as servers of alcohol is to ensure we never serve alcohol to minors. As a general rule we should ask for ID proof of age from anyone who looks like a young adult.