Buying alcohol for people aged under 18

The laws on buying alcohol for under 18s

You may think there are no consequences around buying alcohol for someone aged under 18. They may be a younger brother or sister, even a son or daughter. Please see below the law surrounding the sale of alcohol to people aged under 18 and consequences of buying alcohol for their consumption.

It is against the law:

  • To sell alcohol to someone under 18 in any location
  • For an adult to buy or attempt to buy alcohol on behalf of someone under 18
  • For an adult to purchase alcohol for an underage person for consumption on a licensed premises

What are the consequences?

  • A criminal conviction
  • £5000 fine
  • Making young people vulnerable to the effects of alcohol
  • The individual is more likely to develop an alcohol dependency throughout their teenage years and throughout their life as an adult

You may have reached this webpage through scanning one of our underage drinking campaign posters. These posters are located in many locations that include A&E, off licenses and supermarkets. There are also posters aimed at young people using false identification to enter clubs and pubs.


See also the Drinkaware website for more information.
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