Watch: A handy guide to drinking in India without breaking the law (it’s complicated)
The legal drinking age varies across states, if at all it’s legal to drink in a particular state.
Drinking is tricky in India. With the recent highway liquor ban and the authorities cracking down on the abuse of alcohol laws, there is less clarity than ever on when and where you can drink without breaking the law. What you need, of course, is a handy guide (video above).
Alcohol is banned in four out of 29 states in India, and in the union territory of Lakshadweep. Bihar is a recent addition to the list that includes Gujarat, Manipur and Nagaland, while Kerala and Uttar Pradesh could soon be joining them as dry states.
Five states, including Goa and Himachal Pradesh, allow drinking at the age of 18. In Punjab, Haryana and Meghalaya, the minimum legal drinking age is 25. Most other states require you to be 21.
India’s is the third-largest liquor market in the world, and there’s a high number of drunk-driving accidents as well as widespread underage drinking.