Alcohol: Can You Buy and Drink It?

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Are people under 18 allowed to drink and buy alcohol? Yes and no. The law doesn’t say that people under 18 can’t drink alcohol. But they can’t buy it. This means that it’s up to young people and their parents to decide whether they are allowed to drink alcohol on certain occasions, according to what’s best for them.

If you’re under 18

In Québec, you cannot do these things:

And if you do?

  • buy alcohol for yourself or another person
  • have an adult buy alcohol for you
  • be in a bar, except in certain situations (see the list of exceptions below)
  • lie about your age (for example, by using a fake ID) to do any of the above
  • You are breaking the law.
  • You could be fined!
  • accept free alcohol from a retailer or restaurant owner
  • be served alcohol at a restaurant or go through an adult to do this
  • drink alcohol in a restaurant
  • You aren’t breaking the law.
  • It’s the retailer or restaurant owner who is breaking the law and could be fined or lose her liquor licence!

At any age, like other people!

In Québec, you cannot do these things:

And if you do?

  • drink in a public place (e.g., in a park or on a street), other than during certain events or when the law allows it
  • drink in a car
  • You are breaking the law.
  • You could be fined!

There are exceptions. People under 18 are allowed to be in a bar

  • before 10:00 p.m. on a terrace, if they are accompanied by one of their parents, or
  • in a reserved room or terrace, if they are attending an event there.

People under 18 are also allowed to go in certain places that sell alcohol: a theatre, an amphitheatre, a race-track, a sports center, a hunting or fishing lodge, or a place like a microbrewery where the owner has a small-scale alcohol production permit. But that doesn’t mean that people under 18 can drink alcohol in these places!