Sampling wine, local beers, and other alcoholic beverages can be a highlight of a holiday. The laws around drinking, however, can make this trickier than you would think. From knowing the rules for drinking on an airplane to avoiding drink driving legal trouble when traveling abroad, here are tips on what to expect and how to plan in order to keep yourself out of legal difficulties.
Age is More than Wine
It is important remember that the legal drinking age varies by country and, in some case, by regions within a country. This make it important to do your research ahead of time to make sure you aren’t violating the local laws. In addition to countries in which drinking alcohol is prohibited for people of any age, there are places where children are allowed to drink when accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Whilst travel to other countries may find you in places with a lower legal drinking age, what age limits apply while you’re in the air? The answer is complicated. In general, the drinking age on the plane is based on the country where the airline is registered. Often, however, airlines will observe the legal drinking limit of the departure port. In general, airlines are not known for checking IDs for international travel. This makes it difficult to guess whether specific people will be allowed to drink on a given flight.
Alcohol in Motion
Just as drinking ages are established by area, so are the drink driving laws. The amount of acceptable alcohol can vary widely. The enforcement of drink driving laws and the penalties for violating these laws are other important considerations. Keep in mind that encountering legal trouble can be particularly difficult when it takes place when you are far from home.
In addition to considering the drink driving laws, pay attention the other alcohol-related laws. Walking with open containers of alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited in many locations. Having an open container of alcohol inside a motor vehicle is illegal, as well, in many places. Some places even have restrictions on how closed containers of alcohol can be transported. For example, bottles of wine or spirits might need to be secured in the boot of the car whenever the car is in motion.
Proof is the Alcohol
Alcohol varies. Beer, mixed drinks, and other spirits may contain considerably different alcohol content, depending on where you buy them. Alcoholic beverages may contain anything from a token amount of alcohol to over 100 proof. If you are used to drinking a particular type of beverage at home, a higher alcohol content elsewhere could lead you to consume more alcohol that you expected. Check before you drink and be sure to pace yourself.