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Drinking Age in the U.K.
HTML by Erowid based on
v1.0 - Oct 2004
Note: new licensing law comes into effect in Jan 2005, details unknown.

agekey pointlaw
under 5may only be given alcohol on medical orderChildren and Young Person's Act of 1933
5 and overmay consume alcohol, e.g. at home. It is only illegal for those aged 5-18 to drink alcohol on licensed premises (without meeting other licensing requirements) 
under 14may not be present in the bar of licensed premises unless accompanied by a person over 28, it is before 9pm and a childrenLicensing Act of 1964, Deregulation and Contracting Out Act of 1994
14 and overmay be in the bar of licensed premises during permitted hours at licensee's discretionLicensing Act 1964
under 16may be present in a restaraunt etc where alcohol is served with a meal and at the licensee's discretion may consume (but not purchase) alcohol bought by a parent or guardian 
16 and overmay purchase beer, porter, cider, or perry with a meal in an eating area on licensed premises (In Scotland wine also)Licensing Act of 1964
under 18may not purchase or be supplied with or consume alcohol in a bar 
under 18police have powers to confiscate alcohol from under 18s drinking in public and to contact their parentsConfiscation of Alcohol (Young Persons) Act of 1997
under 18Licensees and staff of licensed premises have a positive duty not to sell alcohol unless they are reasonably certain that the purchaser is not under the age of 18. The legal obstruction to test purchasing under the supervision of police or insperctors of weights and measures is removed.Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001
16-18May not be employed in bar of a licensed premises, unless as part of a Modern Apprenticeship SchemeLicensing Act 1997