Alcohol – can I drink it? Can I buy it? What about drinking alcohol in public? What will happen if I use a fake ID?

Drinking Alcohol

Whether you can consume alcohol or not depends on your age and your age and your personal choice. The legal drinking age differs form state to state, and may very depending on the type of alcohol, so even if you are over 18, in some places it may still be illegal, but you are definitely not allowed to drink alcohol if you are under 18. No matter what age you are, you need to be careful and responsible While consuming alcohol.

Dry States

In India, the states of Gujarat, Bihar, Manipur, Nagaland and the Union territory of Lakshadweep are dry states. A dry state is a state in which the manufacture, distribution, importation, and sale of alcoholic beverages are prohibited or tightly restricted.

Dry Days

In India, the sale or purchase of alcohol on certain days is not allowed. These days are called dry days. The list of dry days differs from state to state but usually includes Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti.

Buying or Supplying Alcohol

You must be over the age of 18 (sometimes older, depending on state jurisdictions) to purchase or drink alcohol, or you and the person who provided the alcohol can be charged or fined.

If you are over the 18 and buy or give alcohol to someone under the age of 18 you can also be charged for supplying alcohol to a minor. If a parent or other adult buys alcohol for anyone under 18 they can also be charged.

If you are under 18 it is also illegal to buy alcohol for someone else – for example, you cannot buy alcohol for your parents.

Drinking on Licensed Premises

Licensed premises are public places that have been given a license by the Government to sell or serve alcohol. These include bottle shops, pubs, bars, clubs, and some restaurants (called licensed restaurants). Whether a public place can be licensed to sell alcohol differs from to state to state, and is based on state Government discretion.

If you are under 18, it is against the law for you to drink, get, or be given alcohol on licensed premises. It doesn’t matter if you are with your parent or guardian, it's still illegal.

What if you use a Fake ID?

You can use a proof of age card, your driver’s license or your passport as your identification (“ID”) to prove your age. If you don’t show ID when you are asked, or if you use a fake ID, you are breaking the law.

The term fake ID may refer to ID that doesn’t belong to you but is the ID of another person (such as your friend or your sister), as well as ID that has been altered or made illegally. It is illegal to make a fake ID, let someone else use your ID, or give false information in order to obtain ID.

Using a fake ID to gain entry to a venue serving alcohol or to purchase alcohol is illegal and can have serious consequences for you as well as for the place that is selling you alcohol. Fake IDs are usually punishable under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code as Fraud. It can lead to up to seven years of imprisonment.

Using a fake ID online causes trouble for everyone it is a bad idea for you, for the people you are coming in contact with, and is especially bad for the person whose identity you are assuming. Depending on the gravity of your actions, it can also have legal consequences.

Drink Spiking

Whatever your age you should never leave your drink unattended. Drink spiking (with drugs or alcohol) is illegal but does take place. Where possible you should watch your drink being made and never accept an opened drink from anyone you don’t know or trust.

Drinking Alcohol in Public

Most places other than someone’s house are public places. They usually include:

  • footpaths, roads, parks, beaches;
  • shopping centres;
  • unlicensed restaurants, cafes and dining areas (places that do not sell alcohol);
  • community centres, halls and churches;
  • theatres, libraries and galleries;
  • public transport (buses, trains, trams, airplanes, taxis, ferries);
  • gyms and sporting facilities;
  • hospitals.

It is against the law for you to have alcohol, or drink alcohol, in a public place that is not licensed, regardless of your age. You can only have an open alcoholic drink in public if you are in a licensed venue or permitted area, and if you are over 18 (or the legal drinking age for your state jurisdiction).
It’s important to know that if you walk down the street with an open alcohol container such as a can of beer, or you are drinking in a park or any other public space, you could be charged by police.