Liquor Laws In India

Alcohol is a subject in the State List under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. Laws governing alcohol vary from state to state. In India, there is no uniform law for liquor. Liquor laws also list down places where the alcohol can be sold in the States like groceries, departmental stores, banquet halls, farm house, tourist areas, beaches, houseboats etc. License is required to sell the alcohol.

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Legal age for alcohol consumption & acts governing

Following are the details of the laws, regarding alcohol consumption of various states of India-

State/UT Drinking Age Legislation/ Acts
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 18 Andaman and Nicobar Islands Excise Regulation, 2012

Section 24

Excise Policy

RULE 14

Andhra Pradesh 21 The Andhra Pradesh (Regulation of Wholesale Trade and Distribution and Retail Trade in Indian Liquor, Foreign Liquor, Wine and Beer) Act, 1993

Andhra Pradesh  Excise Act 1968- SECTION 36

Arunachal Pradesh 21 The Arunachal Pradesh Excise Act, 1993

Section 42

Assam 21 Rule 241 and 5.10 of the Assam Excise Rule 1945
Bihar Illegal Bihar Excise (Amendment) Bill 2016

Section 19(4)

Chandigarh 25 Punjab Excise Act,1914- SECTION 29
Chhattisgarh 21 The Chhattisgarh Excise Act, 1915

Section 23

Dadra and Nagar Haveli 21 THE DADRA AND NAGAR HAVELI EXCISE REGULATION, 2012

Section 24

Daman and Diu 21 The Goa, Daman and Diu Excise Duty Act & Rules 1964

Section 19

Delhi 25 Delhi Excise Act, 2010-SECTION 23

Delhi Liquor License Rules, 1976

Goa 21 The Goa Excise Duty Act and Rules, 1964

Section 19

(Earlier 18 but according to the Amendment Act 10 in 1976 the age has been increased to 21)

Gujarat Illegal Bombay Prohibition (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2009
Haryana 25 Punjab Excise Act,1914– SECTION 29
Himachal Pradesh 18 THE HIMACHAL PRADESH LIQUOR LICENSE RULES, 1986 RULE- 16
Jammu and Kashmir 21 Jammu and Kashmir Excise Act, 1958

SECTION- 50 B

Jammu and Kashmir Liquor License and Sales Rules, 1984

RULE 11

Jharkhand 21 The Bihar & Orissa Excise Act, 1915

Section 54

Karnataka 21 Karnataka Excise Department, 1967
Kerala 18 Abkary Act, (1 OF 1077) Section- 15A & 15B
Lakshadweep Illegal N/A
Madhya Pradesh 21 The Madhya Pradesh Excise Act, 1915SECTION 23
Maharashtra No limit (wine)

21 (beer)

25 (Other)

Bombay Prohibition Act,1949- Part VI-A Rule 70D
Manipur Illegal The Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act of1991
Meghalaya 25 EASTERN BENGAL AND ASSAM ACT, 1910
Mizoram 18 Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition and Control) Bill 2014

Section 58

Nagaland Illegal Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act, 1989
Orissa 21 THE ODISHA EXCISE ACT, 2005 SECTION 61
Puducherry 18 The Pondicherry Excise Act, 1970

Section 35

Punjab 25 Punjab Excise Act,1914– SECTION 29
Rajasthan 18 Rajasthan Excise Act 1950, SECTION 22
Sikkim 18 THE SIKKIM HOME GUARDS BILL, 1992 ( BILL NO. 1 OF 1992 ) SECTION 20
Tamil Nadu 21 Tamil Nadu Liquor (License and Permit) Rules, 1981Section 25 rule XV
Telangana 21 Andhra Pradesh  Excise Act 1968- SECTION 36 (until the new law is enforced)
Tripura 21 THE TRIPURA EXCISE ACT, 1987 SECTION 53
Uttar Pradesh 21 United Provinces Excise Act, 1910

Section 23

(Earlier 18 but by the amendment in the year 1976 it was increased to 21)

Uttarakhand 21 United Provinces Excise Act, 1910

The Uttaranchal (The Uttar Pradesh Excise Act, 1910)

Section 23

(No separate law is available of Uttarakhand)

West Bengal 21 Bengal Excise Act 1909 SECTION 51

Drink and Drive Law

According to Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, If a person is driving a motor vehicle in a drunken state and after checking with breath-analyser it is found that the Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) is exceeding 30 mg of intake per 100 ml of blood, then that person shall be punishable with imprisonment for term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees or with both.

Further, if within three years of the commission of similar crime, he/she repeats the same, then offender shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may not extend to two years or with fine which may extend to three thousand rupees or with both.

Public Drinking

Public drinking is not yet a common thing in India, but if found drinking alcohol in public creates nuisance and is punishable by law. Fine for public drinking is Rs 5000 and if the offender creates nuisance than the fine may extend upto 10,000 with jail term of three months.

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Dry Days by States

Dry Day means days when sale of alcohol is prohibited. Most common dry days in every state are Republic Day (Jan 26), Independence Day ( August 15), Gandhi Jayanti (October 2) and on & around voting days.

Following are the dry days by states/UTs:

Month Date
January 26 (Republic Day)
August 15 (Independence Day)
October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti)

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana:Prohibited days are also announced when elections are held in the state.

Delhi

Every excise year, the Government of Delhi, notifies the number of Prohibited days in a year. The three national holidays—January 26, October 2 and August 15, are always prohibited days, and additional prohibited days are announced at the start of the excise year (1 July).

Month Date/Festival
January 26 (Republic Day)
February 12 (Maharishi Dayanand Jayanti), 16 (Guru Ravidas Jayanti, 24])
March Holi, Mahavir Jayanti
April Good Friday, Mahavir Jayanti
May 29 Buddha Purnima
June Buddha Purnima
August 15 (Independence Day), Krishna Janmashtami
September Krishna Janmashtami
October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti), Dussehra, Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti, Diwali
November Diwali, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Guru Tegh Bahadur Martydom Day

In addition to the above the following days are also prohibited days:

Ram Navami

Maha Shivaratri

Eid al-Adha

Eid al-Fitr

Muharram

Milad un Nabi

prohibited days are also announced when elections are held in the state.

Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu

Month Date/Festival
August 15 (Independence Day), Krishna Janmashtami
September Krishna Janmashtami
October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti)
November Guru Nanak Jayanti

In addition to the above the following days are also prohibited days:

Ram Navami

Maha Shivaratri

Prohibited days are also announced when elections are held in the state.

Prohibited days can also be declared on such days not exceeding three days during a year as may be declared by the State Government

Kashmir

Month Date/Festival
August 15 (Independence Day), Krishna Janmashtami
September Krishna Janmashtami
October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti)

In addition to the above the following days are also Prohibited days:

Maha Shivaratri

Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Zuha

Eid-e-Milaad

Prohibited days are also announced when elections are held in the state.

Prohibited days can also be declared on such days not exceeding three days during a year as may be declared by the State Government.

Kerala

Month Date
January 1 26 30 (Martyrs’ Day)
February 1
March 1
April 1
May 1
June 1, 26
July 1
August 1,15 Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti
September 1, Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti, Sree Narayana Guru Samadhi
October 1, 2 (Gandhi Jayanti)
November 1
December 1

During elections, are observed the day of the vote, the day before the vote, and during vote counting.

Sundays are no longer observed as Prohibited days in the state.

Karnataka

Gandhi Jayanti (October 2) and also prohibited days are announced when elections are held in the state.

Maharashtra

This list may vary depending on the date of festivals as well as specific Prohibited day announcements by the Government of Maharashtra.

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Month Date/Festival
January 26 (Republic Day), 30 (Martyrs’ Day)
May 1 (Maharashtra Day)
June Ashadi Ekadashi
July Ashadi Ekadashi
August 15 (Independence Day)
September Anant Chaturdashi
October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti), 8 (Siddhesh Kulkarni Birth Day)
November Kartiki Ekadashi

Prohibited days are designated on election days, plus the two days before and after the vote, and the day(s) of the count, plus one day before and one day after the counting days.

The district collector can also designate any day as a Prohibited day by giving seven days’ notice.

Rajasthan

Month Date/Festival
January 26 (Republic Day), 30 (Martyrs’ Day)
March Mahavir Jayanti
April Mahavir Jayanti
August 15 (Independence Day), Krishna Janmashtami
September Krishna Janmashtami
October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti)

In addition to the above the following days are also Prohibited days:

Maha Shivaratri

Harijan Day

Prohibited days are also announced when elections are held in the state.

Tamil Nadu

Month Date Festival
January 15 (16 Leap year) Thiruvalluvar Day
January 26 Republic Day
January (February) Vadalur Ramalinga Adikalar Jothi
February Maha Shivaratri
April Prophet Birthday (Nabigal Nayagam)
April (March) Mahavir Jayanti
May 1 May Day
August 15 Independence Day
October 2 Gandhi Jayanti
December Eid al-Mawlid (Milad-un-Nabi)

Prohibited days are also announced when elections are held in the state.

West Bengal

Month Date/Festival
January 26 (Republic Day)
August 15 (Independence Day)
October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti)

In addition to the above the following days are also Prohibited days:

On the day of Muharram

Dol Jatra only till 14 hours of the day

However, no dry day rule is applicable for 5-star hotels, clubs and resorts in West Bengal. Drinks may be served and consumed in those places in West Bengal even on “dry days”. Private consumption too is allowed on the said “dry days”. Only the open sale of liquor at restaurants, liquor shops and other permitted places is disallowed on those days.

For Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha elections, Prohibited days are declared for 48 hours prior to the close of voting, plus during the counting day(s). For Municipality, Panchayat, Municipal Corporation, or Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council elections, Prohibited days occur on the polling day, the previous day and the counting day(s).

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Month Date
January 26 (Republic Day)
August 15 (Independence Day)
October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti)

Retail shops are closed on every month on the 7th, which is the pay day / salary day in this union territory, and on 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of every month. Plus, a maximum of two fulls or four beers are permitted per person for sale in retail shops.

Prohibited days are also announced when elections are held in the state.

Prices

Price of alcohol varies from state to state. States like Delhi, Goa, Daman and Diu and the cheapest and states like Maharashtra have the most expensive ones.

Constitutional Perspective

Article 47 of the constitution states that “State shall Endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health”

According to Constitution, Alcohol should be used only for medicinal purposes and it prohibits the consumption as it is injurious to health. However, the law is not strict and is not abiding. Even the rich and the poor consumes it. The availability is very easy and frequent, even children can purchase it easily.

Intervention of Supreme Court

In December 2016, Apex court of India took some steps to strop crimes for drunk driving. From 1st April, Sale of liquor on all national and state highways are prohibited. No shop should be established within the distance of 500 meters from edge of highway.

Conclusion

Alcohol is bad for health but despite knowing this fact, different age groups tends to have it. Hence, there are various provisions made by every state towards its lesser consumption and its ban. The youth is our future and they are becoming addictive by alcohol consumption. The liquor consumption age should be strictly followed. In recent development in Delhi, government imposed fine on consuming liquor is public.However, we still need strict laws for alcohol in India.

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