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Alcohol and the law

Alcohol and the law

It is against the law for a young person under 18 to:

It is against the law for a young person under 15 to be in a pub without a parent or guardian.

A young person between 15 and 17 can attend a private function, such as a wedding, in a pub after the times above if a proper meal is being served.

It is also against the law for an adult to buy alcohol for a young person under the age of 18. The penalty is a maximum fine of €1500.

In a private residence, alcohol cannot be served to a visiting young person (under 18) without the explicit consent of that young person’s parent or guardian.

The information below should be helpful, as many parents are unsure of the law on underage drinking and what happens if this law is broken.


Juvenile Diversion Programme


Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994


Intoxicating Liquor Act 1988 (Part IV provisions relating to persons under 18 years)


Off-licences sales

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