What should be the legal age for drinking?

Alcohol & You


Alcohol or alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol or ethyl alcohol. It is an intoxicating agent which produces mind altering effects. It is produced by fermentation of sugars, yeast and starches. It is legally consumed in most countries, including India. The legal age of drinking and purchasing alcohol varies in India from 18 to 25 years depending on the state.

Alcohol is a brain depressant and is absorbed quickly from the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream. Alcohol can be addictive and addiction to alcohol is known as alcoholism. If consumed over a prolonged period of time, it may cause damage to major organs, including the liver and/or the brain. Even a small amount of alcohol can impair the judgment that is required to safely operate an automobile. Children whose parents consume alcohol excessively, are at much higher risk of suffering from alcohol-related and other problems.

High blood alcohol content is usually considered to be legal drunkenness because it reduces attention and slows reaction speed. In Indian states, the legal limit for Driving Under Influence (DUI) is 0.03%. There are serious legal consequences of DUI like punishable with a jail term of up to 6 months for the first chargeable offence. The DUI fees India for the first offense can extend up to 2,000 rupees. The complete punishment for driving under influence can include the jail term, penalty fees or both.



National Institute on Drug Abuse 

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 

Prevention of harm from alcohol use: get high on life without alcohol- Report by WHO SEARO region (2003) [pdf file]

Lal R. Substance Use Disorders: A Manual for physicians. New Delhi: National Drug Dependence Treatment Center, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, 2005.