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.

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