Alcohol laws of India

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The legal drinking age in India and the laws which regulate the sale and consumption of alcohol vary significantly from state to state.[1] In India, consumption of alcohol is prohibited in the states of Gujarat, Manipur, Mizoram , Kerala and Nagaland,[2] as well as the union territory of Lakshadweep. Kerala is implementing prohibition in phased manner. All other Indian states permit alcohol consumption but fix a legal drinking age. In some states, the legal drinking age can be different for different types of alcoholic beverages.

Law[edit]

Alcohol is a subject in the State List under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India.[3][4][5] Therefore, the laws governing alcohol vary from state to state.

Liquor in India is generally sold at liquor stores, restaurants, hotels, bars, pubs, clubs and discos. Some states, like Kerala and Tamil Nadu, prohibit private parties from owning liquor stores making the state government the sole retailer of alcohol in those states. In some states, liquor may be sold at groceries, departmental stores, banquet halls and/or farm houses. Some tourist areas have special laws allowing the sale of alcohol on beaches and houseboats.

Delhi[edit]

Home delivery of alcoholic beverages is illegal in Delhi.[6] However, Delhi permits home delivery of beer and wine by private vends and departmental stores. The sale of beer at departmental stores, banquet halls and farm houses, is legal in Delhi.[6]

Legal drinking age[edit]

The following list is incomplete. Please help complete the list by providing references

State/ UT Drinking Age Remarks
Andaman and Nicobar Islands It is illegal to sell or supply any liquor to Andamanese, Nicobarese or any other Scheduled Tribes.
Andhra Pradesh 21 [7]
Arunachal Pradesh 21[8]
Assam 21
Bihar 21[7]
Chandigarh 25[9]
Chhattisgarh 21
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Daman and Diu
Delhi 25[10]
Goa 18[7]
Gujarat Illegal Non-Residents of Gujarat can apply for limited Liquor Permits.
Haryana 25 The Punjab Excise Act, which also extends to Haryana, prohibits establishments from employing "women in any part of such premises in which such liquor or intoxicating drug is consumed by the public".[11]
Himachal Pradesh 18[12]
Jammu and Kashmir 21[13][14]
Jharkhand 21
Karnataka 18[15] Arrack is banned in Karnataka since 1 July 2007.[16][17]
Kerala 21[18] Arrack is banned in Kerala since 1996.[19] Drinking age was raised from 18 to 21 in July 2011. Starting 1 April 2015, liquor will only be sold at 5-star hotels. Toddy will continue to be sold as before.[20]
Lakshadweep Illegal Consumption is legal only on the island of Bangaram.[21]
Madhya Pradesh 21
Maharashtra No limit (wine)[22]
21 (beer)
25 (Other)[22]
In Maharashtra for drinking a person should carry a liquor license obtained from Govt.Civil Hospital. The drinking age is 30 years in Wardha district.[23]
Manipur Illegal
Meghalaya 25[24]
Mizoram ILLEGAL[25]
Nagaland Illegal[2] Sale and consumption illegal since 1989.[26]
Orissa 21[7]
Puducherry 18
Punjab 25[27] The Punjab Excise Act prohibits establishments from employing "women in any part of such premises in which such liquor or intoxicating drug is consumed by the public".[11]
Rajasthan 21
Sikkim 18[8]
Tamil Nadu 21[7]
Telengana 21 [7]
Tripura 21
Uttar Pradesh 18[24]
Uttarakhand 21
West Bengal 21[24]

Drunk Driving Law[edit]

The blood alcohol content (BAC) legal limit is 0.03%[28] or 30 µl alcohol in 100 ml blood.[29]

On 1 March 2012, the Union Cabinet approved proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Act. Higher penalties were introduced, including fines from INR2,000 to INR10,000 and imprisonment from 6 months to 4 years. Different penalties are assessed depending on the blood alcohol content at the time of the offence.[30]

Dry Days[edit]

Dry Days are specific days when the sale of alcohol is prohibited. Most of the Indian states observe dry days on major religious festivals/occasions depending on the popularity of the festival in that region. National holidays such as Republic Day (January 26), Independence Day (August 15) and Gandhi Jayanti (October 2) are usually dry days throughout India.[31] Dry days may also depend on the establishment selling alcohol. For example, generally 5-star hotels do not have to observe all the dry days that smaller bars may have to. Dry Days are fixed by the respective state government. Dry days are also observed on and around voting days.[32][33]

Dry Days by State[edit]

Andaman and Nicobar Islands[edit]

Month Date/Festival
January 7, 26 (Republic Day), 30 (Martyrs' Day)
February 7
March 8, Holi
April 7, Good Friday
May 7
June 7
July 7
August 7, 15 (Independence Day)
September 7
October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti), 7, Dusshera
November 7
December 7

In addition to the above the following days are also dry days:

  • Muharram
  • The last working day of a calendar month.
  • The day of poll and proceeding two days in all General elections, By-Elections to Lok Sabha, Municipal Board and Panchayat.
  • Any other day the Government may by notification declare to be a dry day.

Source: Andaman and Nicobar Excise Department

Andhra Pradesh[edit]

Month Date
January 26 (Republic Day)
August 15 (Independence Day)
October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti)

Dry days are also announced when elections are held in the state.

Source: Andhra Pradesh Beverages Corporation Ltd.

Delhi[edit]

Every excise year, the Government of Delhi, notifies the number of dry days in a year. The three national holidays — January 26, October 2 and August 15, are always dry days, and additional dry days are announced at the start of the excise year (1 July).[34]

Month Date/Festival
January 26 (Republic Day)
February 12 (Maharishi Dayanand Jayanti), 16 (Guru Ravidas Jayanti, 24])
March Holi, Mahavir Jayanti
April Good Friday, Mahavir Jayanti
May 29 Buddha Purnima
June Buddha Purnima
August 15 (Independence Day), Krishna Janmashtami
September Krishna Janmashtami
October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti), Dussehra, Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti, Diwali
November Diwali, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Guru Tegh Bahadur Martydom Day

Festival date may be in either month.

In addition to the above the following days are also dry days:

Source: Department of Excise, Entertainment and Luxury Tax

Jammu and Kashmir[edit]

Jammu[edit]

Month Date/Festival
August 15 (Independence Day), Krishna Janmashtami
September Krishna Janmashtami
October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti)
November Guru Nanak Jayanti

Festival date may be in either month.

In addition to the above the following days are also dry days:

  • Ram Navmi
  • Maha Shivratri
  • Dry days are also announced when elections are held in the state.
  • Dry days can also be declaered on such days not exceeding three days during a year as may be declared by the State Government

Kashmir[edit]

Month Date/Festival
August 15 (Independence Day), Krishna Janmashtami
September Krishna Janmashtami
October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti)

Festival date may be in either month.

In addition to the above the following days are also dry days:

  • Maha Shivratri
  • Eid ul-Fitr
  • Eid ul-Zuha
  • Eid-e-Milaad
  • Dry days are also announced when elections are held in the state.
  • Dry days can also be declared on such days not exceeding three days during a year as may be declared by the State Government

Source: THE JAMMU & KASHMIR LIQUOR LICENSE & SALE RULES, 1984

Kerala[edit]

Month Date
January 26 30 (Martyrs' Day)
March 1
April 1
May 1
June 1
July 1
August 1,15 Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti
September 1, Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti, Sree Narayana Guru Samadhi
October 1, 2 (Gandhi Jayanti)
November 1
December 1

Date may be in either month.

During elections, are observed the day of the vote, the day before the vote, and during vote counting.

Starting 1 April 2015, all Sundays will be observed as dry days in the state.[20]

Source: Official web site of Kerala State Beverages Corporation Limited

Karnataka[edit]

Gandhi Jayanti (October 2) is the only dry day in Karnataka.[35]

Dry days are also announced when elections are held in the state.

Maharashtra[edit]

This list may vary depending on the date of festivals as well as specific dry day announcements by the Government of Maharashtra.

Month Date/Festival
January 26 (Republic Day), 30 (Martyrs' Day)
May 1 (Maharashtra Day)
June Ashadi Ekadashi
July Ashadi Ekadashi
August 15 (Independence Day)
September Anant Chaturdashi
October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti), 8 (End of Prohibition Week/Chetan Jayanti)
November Kartiki Ekadashi

Festival date may be in June or July.

Dry days are designated on election days, plus the two days before and after the vote, and the day(s) the of the count, plus one day before and one day after the counting days.

The district collector can also designate any day as a dry day by giving seven days notice.

Source: Maharashtra State Excise

Rajasthan[edit]

Month Date/Festival
January 26 (Republic Day), 30 (Martyrs' Day)
March Mahavir Jayanti
April Mahavir Jayanti
August 15 (Independence Day), Krishna Janmashtami
September Krishna Janmashtami
October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti)

Festival date may be in either month.

In addition to the above the following days are also dry days:

Tamil Nadu[edit]

Month Date/Festival
January Tiruvalluvar Day, Republic Day
March Mahavir Jayanti
April Mahavir Jayanti
May 1 (May Day)
August 15 (Independence Day)
October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti)

Festival date may be in either month.

In addition to the above the following days are also dry days:

Source: Tamil Nady dry day list – 2013 : Kosukadi

West Bengal[edit]

Month Date/Festival
January 26 (Republic Day)
March Second day of Holi
April Mahavir Jayanti
August 15 (Independence Day)
October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti), Dusshera (Bijaya Dashami)

Festival date may be in March or April.
From 15 hours of the day

In addition to the above the following days are also dry days:

Source: Department of Excise, West Bengal

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Minimum Age Limits Worldwide". International Center for Alcohol Policies. 
  2. ^ a b "Alcohol prohibition to remain in Nagaland". 
  3. ^ Constitution of India » 246. Subject-matter of laws made by Parliament and by the Legislatures of States
  4. ^ States Subject List
  5. ^ Schedule
  6. ^ a b "3 held for home delivery of liquor – The Times of India". The Times Of India. 22 August 2002. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Cheers! Orissa raises a toast to 21". The Times of India. 18 June 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Maharashtra's legal drinking age is highest in world". The Times of India. 24 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Legal Drinking Age | Minimum Age For Drinking In India". Drunkdriving.co.in. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  10. ^ "Drinking age in India". drinkingmap.com. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "The Punjab Excise Act, 1914", The Punjab Excise Act, 1914 (Government of Haryana), retrieved November 1, 2012 
  12. ^ Himachal bans selling liquor to minors | Voice of Himachal
  13. ^ http://jkexcise.nic.in/documents/eact.pdf
  14. ^ http://jkexcise.nic.in/documents/exc_rule.pdf
  15. ^ "Overview of Indian Nightlife". about.com. 20 June 2012. 
  16. ^ "Arrack ban in Karnataka from tomorrow". The Times Of India. 30 June 2007. 
  17. ^ Siddu wants cheap, safe liquor for poor
  18. ^ Liquor policy aims to curb buying, selling – Indian Express
  19. ^ Arrack ban to stay in Kerala
  20. ^ a b "Kerala, one of the highest consumers of alcohol, to bid goodbye to booze". The Economic Times. ET bureau. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  21. ^ Lakshadweep Official Website
  22. ^ a b "Maha ups drinking age to 25". Hindustan Times. 2 June 2011. 
  23. ^ "Maharashtra's legal drinking age is highest in world". The Times Of India. 
  24. ^ a b c "Drink at 18 in Lucknow, 25 in Mumbai, 16 in Rome". IBN Live. 2 June 2011. 
  25. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mizoram-to-enact-law-to-lift-total-prohibition-of-liquor/article6373073.ece
  26. ^ "No Drink For You? India's Dry States". Full Stop India. 
  27. ^ Underage drinking: Punjab to take action against vendors – Indian Express
  28. ^ Alcohol Law in India | ifood.tv
  29. ^ [1][dead link]
  30. ^ "Think 5 times before you drink and drive". 2 March 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  31. ^ Three cheers to dry days!
  32. ^ "official web site of Kerala State Beverages Corporation Limited". Ksbc.kerala.gov.in. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  33. ^ http://www.and.nic.in/Announcements/Excise_policy.pdf
  34. ^ "Excise,Entertainment & Luxury Tax Department". Government of NCT of Delhi. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  35. ^ "Why must Delhi have dry days? – The Times of India". The Times Of India.