If you’re under 18 and drinking alcohol in public, you can be stopped, fined or arrested by police.
If you’re under 18, it is against the law:
- for someone to sell you alcohol
- to buy or try to buy alcohol
- for an adult to buy or try to buy alcohol for you
- to drink alcohol in licensed premises (eg a pub or restaurant)
However if you’re 16 or 17 and accompanied by an adult, you can drink (but not buy) beer, wine or cider with a meal.
If you’re 16 or under, you may be able to go to a pub (or premises primarily used to sell alcohol) if you’re accompanied by an adult. However, this isn’t always the case. It can also depend on:
- the specific conditions for that premises
- the licensable activities taking place there
It’s illegal to give alcohol to children under 5.