The legal drinking age is the age at which a person can consume alcohol or alcoholic product. The legal drinking age can be different from countries to countries. And these laws have exemptions according to different circumstances. These laws are applied on drinking at public places while drinking at home is exempted from regulations. For different kinds of alcohol, the legal age is also different.
In America, the drinking age is 21 while in European countries the drinking age varies but lower than United States. The European countries are more liberal in this regard and alcohol is part of European culture as young people drink at younger age in the family (Room, 2004). It is believed that in America, the young people drink more, and they are at higher risk at alcohol related problems. Therefore in America it is augmented not to lower drinking age due to this perception. In America, the legal age for alcohol consumption is 21 but there are weaknesses in the legal system due to which drinking under 21 is possible and allowed (Rhodes, 2007).
In UK, the legal age for drinking is 18 but a teen can drink at 16 under the parental guidance. According to the laws of UK, a person under 16 or 17 can not buy drink but is allowed to drink with a meal if the young person is with any adult (Gov.UK, 2014). In France, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Ukraine, Switzerland, Germany and Hungary the drinking age is 18.In Italy, Malta and Portugal it is 16 in Italy. In Greece legal drinking age is 17 and 20 in Norway and Sweden. Although in New Zealand, the drinking age is reduced from 20 to 18 in 1999. Due to higher drinking age in US, few adolescents in America drink than in European countries.
Alcohol and young people-the Law. 18 June, 2014. GOV.UK. Web. 25 June, 2014.https://www.gov.uk/alcohol-young-people-law
Rhodes, Jonte. 6 March, 2007. The Legal Drinking Age in Different Countries. Legal Source 360.Law and Justice. Web. 25 June. 2014.http://www.legalsource360.com/index.php/the-legal-drinking-age-in-different-countries-4-7518/
Room, R. 2004. Drinking and Coming of Age in a Cross Cultural Perspective in: Bonnie, R.J. & O’ Connor, M.E., eds. Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility. Washington, DC: national Academy Press. 2004. 654-677.