Drinking Age in California: Everything You Need To Know

Drinking Age in California

The following is a discussion regarding the legal drinking age in California. The topic is helpful if you’re planning a trip to this famous American state either for a vacation or if you’re planning to move here either for a brief period or permanently. We will also be having a discussion on whether minors are allowed to drink alongside their parents or not, as well as what kind of charges you could potentially face when caught breaking the law. 

With its laid-back attitude, plenty of world-famous tourist spots, and the open-mindedness of its residents, California is one of America’s most popular states. It is a state that welcomes all cultures, backgrounds, and ideologies. With traits such as this, it makes you question what kind of opinions the average Californian has regarding certain things, including alcohol consumption. So, if you want to know those things and more, then keep on reading. 

What is the Legal Drinking Age in California?

The 31st state’s official legal drinking age is 21 years old and above. This is in line with the rest of America, which means that any individual below that age cannot consume, purchase, or possess alcohol or any alcoholic beverages, no matter which state they go to. And at the same time, any person who owns an establishment selling alcohol cannot lend their products to anyone below this age. 

What is the Legal Drinking Age in California for Tourists and Foreigners?

With places such as the Hollywood Sign, Disneyland parks, and the Golden Gate Bridge, among others, California gets thousands of tourists per year. Even though the legal drinking age is 21 years old, it seems like there are still a few sneaky young individuals who manage to get past that and consume alcohol below that age. This is technically against the law, as everyone who sets foot in the Golden State is required to obey the drinking laws there. 

Do You Need an ID to Drink in California?

Drinking Age in California

Some adult establishments in the state – Bars, nightclubs, lounges, etc. are very strict in regard to ID checks before letting anyone in. Meanwhile, others are a bit more lenient, so it all depends on the establishment you choose. They will request an ID card again if you are buying or consuming alcoholic beverages in any establishment that sells liquor. Other valid documents you can use are your driver’s license and your passport. Unfortunately, fake ID cards are too commonplace here, not just in California itself but in America in general. 

Legal Drinking Age in California with Parents

Yes, you can consume alcohol legally in California even if you’re below 21 – As long as it is done in the privacy of your own home or if you have a parent, guardian, or any responsible adult close by. As mentioned, plenty of young teens in America are known to possess fake IDs, and they use this as a way to buy the liquor of their choice without an adult’s approval. 

Legal Drinking Age in California by Region 

As mentioned, California’s legal drinking age is similar to the rest of America – 21 years old and above. This applies to every county, city, or suburb around the state. But if you are past that age, then go ahead and try out the dozens of bars and nightclubs surrounding the area, as there is sure an establishment there that will suit your taste. But if alcohol isn’t your thing, then that’s totally fine, as California still has loads of tourist spots that you can go to, whether by yourself or with family. 

Can Minors Drink in California with Their Parents?

21 is the legal drinking age in California, but as stated earlier, minors can indeed consume alcoholic beverages as long as it’s in a private place or if it has their parents’ approval. 

Consequences of Breaking the Drinking Age Law in California 

Breaking the drinking and driving law in California warrants a fine of $250 and up to 32 hours of community service. Aside from that, your driver’s license will also be suspended for at least a year. For other alcohol-related offenses, such as public intoxication, you will have to pay a fine of at least $1000 and go through six months of jail time. However, drinking alcohol in public is fine, as there are family-friendly establishments around the state that serve spiked drinks. This includes Disneyland – You can actually buy cocktails there, as long as you drink them in the same spot. 

Rounding up the Drinking Age in California 

This is everything you need to know regarding the drinking age in California. It’s a fun place to visit for children and families alike, but if you’re getting yourself involved in the state’s active party scene and drinking plenty of alcohol, be sure to do it in a responsible manner. Familiarize yourself with the state’s rules so you won’t land yourself into trouble, either. 

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