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Alcohol Law In Ireland

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This blog talks in detail about the alcohol law in Ireland. When we think of Ireland, the first set of images that rush to our mind is that of Guinness, Irish whiskey, Saint Patrick, and Irish coffee.  You might have noticed that this short list is mostly led by alcohols. Most people find it difficult to avoid these things during their visit to Ireland along with Bunratty Castle and Cliffs of Moher.  


 


How is alcohol defined in Ireland?
The definition is quite easy – any beverage which contains ethanol in small or large limits is normally called an alcohol. But drinks like non-alcoholic beer, and shandy are excluded from this definition because they have minute concentrations of ethanol within them. These beverages are known as liquor–filled dessert drinks.


 


What is the legal drinking age in Ireland?
The alcohol law in Ireland is more protective towards adolescents. The alcohol consumption is prohibited in Ireland unless and until you turn 18. It is considered totally illegal to consume or buy alcohol before you reach that age. So, if you are below that age and about to fall into someone’s trap offering to buy the drink on your behalf, then we recommend you to stay away from such instances.  Also, if any authorized alcohol dealer was found guilty of selling alcohol to minors then they stand high chances of being handed out temporary closure orders too.  The premises may be closed for about a week for first offense and about a month during second offense.  If the vendor is found to commit the same offense again and again then court can fortify their licenses forever.


 


Where I can buy drink in Ireland?
The alcohol law in Ireland recommends that you buy your drink from authorized sources like pubs.  In recent years more pubs and bars have sprung up all over the country catering to the demands of younger, affluent and more sophisticated clientele.  Some restaurants are also authorized to sell alcohol, but you will have to order complete meals to buy your drinks.


 


Can I Buy Drinks during Happy Hours?
That would have been possible if you might have visited Ireland before August 18, 2003. Since that date it is considered illegal to sell alcohol through special offers during anytime in a day. In clear words alcohol law in Ireland doesn’t support the Happy Hours scheme.


 


Can I Drink in Public?
No. It is considered as criminal offense to drink in public if you are in Ireland. In Northern Ireland the alcohol laws are stricter and they are further strengthened by local bye-laws. You may have to shell out 127 Euro and member of Garda Siochana can confiscate alcohol in your possession. It is considered as illegal to sell alcohol in bottles or cans for consumption off the premises.  If you buy alcohol in this form then you can be fined about 300 euros by Garda Siochana.


 


What are the BAC limits?

The established BAC limit throughout Ireland is 0.08%. If you are found guilty of violating that limit then you may have to shell out 1,270 Euros or imprisonment for 6 months.


 


The alcohol law in Ireland also heeds to things with religious importance. You may not get alcohol on Good Fridays and Christmas Day. The above mentioned are just few highlights of vast alcohol law practiced in Ireland. 


 


Image Courtesy: flickr.com

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