Drinking Age in Colombia: Everything You Need To Know

Drinking Age in Colombia

Here is a discussion of the drinking age in Colombia. Colombia, just like plenty of South American countries, is known for its highly-energized environment, where people just don’t seem to care about the rules and will do whatever they want. The same can be said for their behavior when it comes to consuming alcohol, so the government is doing whatever it can to keep all of this in check. 

This topic is the best for you if you’re planning a trip to Colombia for business or leisure. Colombia is not known for its drinking culture, but its residents do enjoy plenty of local and international liquor once in a while. So, if you are curious to know about their set of drinking laws and how tourists and foreigners are treated when invited to a drinking party, then read on. 

What is the Legal Drinking Age in Colombia?

Colombia’s official drinking age is 18 years old, which is the lowest average drinking age in South America. So, if you are 17 years old and below, you are not allowed to purchase, consume, or own any bottle of alcohol or any beverage with alcohol mixed in. The same laws apply to adults 18 years old and above – On their end, it means that they are not allowed to sell or provide alcohol to minors. 

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

If you set foot on Colombian soil, then this means you have to follow its legal drinking age, which is 18 years old. Those who are minors or aren’t interested in drinking alcohol shouldn’t worry too much, as you can still explore the country’s tourist destinations, go shopping at flea markets, and enjoy their delicious cuisine. If you are an adult, then go ahead and pair up your favorite alcoholic beverages with the meal of your choice. 

Do You Need an ID to Drink in Colombia?

Drinking Age in Colombia

Yes – But it all depends on the establishment you’re going to. The more upscale bars and clubs around the country are very strict when it comes to asking customers for ID. Meanwhile, the bars located in densely-populated areas are more lenient and will let anyone in as long as they are 18 years old or look 18, at least. Other legal documents you can present at the door of the establishments include passports and driver’s licenses. 

Legal Drinking Age in Colombia with Parents 

In Colombia, the official drinking age is 18 years old – Although it’s pretty lax, just like the rules in other South American countries like Peru. So, it’s not really surprising if you catch minors chugging down alcohol with or without parental supervision or spot them purchasing a bottle or two of wine at liquor stores. But interestingly, the packaging for most locally-produced alcoholic drinks in Colombia comes with a warning that says minors are not allowed to consume them. 

Legal Drinking Age in Colombia by Region

The legal drinking age in Colombia is 18 years old, and this applies to every area in the country, including Bogota, the capital. Meanwhile, in other parts of Colombia – Including other urbanized areas such as Cali, Medellin, and Cartagena, as well as provinces and rural places – The drinking laws there are a bit more relaxed. Surprisingly, despite the lenient laws on alcohol consumption, Colombian police regularly check supermarkets to ensure that no alcohol gets sold there. 

Can Minors Drink in Colombia with Their Parents?

It seems like minors in Colombia are indeed aware of the risks that come with alcohol consumption, but the thing is, they don’t seem to care at all. It doesn’t help that Colombia itself is a country filled with lots of crime, such as theft and drug trafficking, and these cases of underage drinking just add into the mix. Despite the Colombian police keeping a close watch on alcohol sales and making sure they don’t get sold everywhere in the country, it seems like even a few cases tend to slip through the cracks. 

Consequences of Breaking the Drinking Age Law in Colombia

Colombia has very strict drinking and driving laws, which is a part of the government’s project on tempering down alcoholism in the country. In fact, the drinking laws here are stricter compared to other countries like the US and the UK. Colombia only allows its residents to have at least 40 mg of alcohol in over 100mg of blood. This means that in Colombia, even just one heavy drink can put you at risk of jail time. Disobeying these rules will result in a potential license suspension and jail time for 10 years.

Rounding up the Drinking Age in Colombia Discussion

… And those are all of the things that you need to know about the drinking age in Colombia. Despite the rampant crime, it’s a bit of a relief that the government is taking some steps to prevent alcoholism from happening among its citizens. If you happen to step foot in this country no matter what reason, make sure to follow all of the rules and be responsible with your alcohol consumption. 

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *