Drinking Age in Finland: Everything You Need To Know

Drinking Age in Finland

Today, we will be talking about the legal drinking age in Finland, the rules that come with alcohol consumption in the country, as well as what the rules are in regard to minors and liquor. This is the right topic for you if you are curious to know how Finns handle their alcohol and what their government is doing to deal with alcoholism in the country if there is such a case. The same topic will also be taking a closer look at the drinking culture that Finnish people usually have. 

If you are from Finland, or at least a neighboring Nordic or Scandinavian country, then you are fully aware that Finns really, really enjoy their alcohol. In fact, research conducted just this year states that over the past decades, the alcohol consumption of Finns has tripled compared to people from Norway and Sweden. This can be quite alarming, but just how lax are the liquor laws in this country? Here is all you need to know.

What is the Legal Drinking Age in Finland?

Finnish law states that the official legal drinking age in the country is 18 years old. This is in comparison to other Scandinavian countries such as Sweden and Iceland, where the drinking ages are in their 20s or even higher. This means that children or young teens are not allowed to consume alcohol if they are 17 years old and below, and providing or selling alcohol to a minor will be considered a criminal offense.  

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

If you are 18 and above, then you are more than welcome to participate in Finland’s gatherings and parties, which usually always involve drinking alcohol. You can find alcohol almost everywhere in Finland, whether it be in supermarkets, liquor shops, hotels, and even small convenience stores. But there’s a catch – Alcohol is only sold throughout the country from morning until 9 PM. Other types of harder liquor, such as vodka, rum, and brandies, are much harder to find. 

Do You Need an ID to Drink in Finland?

Drinking Age in Finland

Yes. They are very strict when it comes to people who enter bars, pubs, and nightclubs located around the country. Those who sell alcohol in liquor shops, groceries, and restaurants also have the right to refuse to give alcohol to individuals who are below 18 years old, as well as to adults who won’t give them a valid ID when purchasing liquor. Other documents you can present include passports and driver’s licenses. 

Legal Drinking Age in Finland with Parents 

Finland’s legal drinking age of 18 isn’t really as strict, so parents and guardians are allowing their children or young teens to consume even just one glass of alcohol. But despite that, there are still some rules that they have to strictly follow: For instance, if a teenager or child drinks too much and becomes inebriated or unruly, then the parent or guardian could be sent to jail. This particular rule only applies to public areas. At home, it’s completely up to the parent (and child) if they want to drink or give any liquor.

Legal Drinking Age in Finland by Region 

The entirety of Finland follows the legal drinking age of 18 years old. But for its capital of Helsinki, there are actually two legal drinking ages: 18 years old and 20 years old. If you are 18, you can consume any alcoholic beverage that only has an alcohol level of 22%. Any level above that must only be drunk by any individual over the age of 20. Plenty of these harder liquors can only be found in select grocery stores and liquor shops and are only sold on weekends. 

Can Minors Drink in Finland with Their Parents? 

As mentioned, liquor laws are quite lax in Finland, so the idea of young Finns consuming alcohol alongside their parents isn’t unheard of, despite it still being against the law. This is normally done at home or in any private space, and not in bars or other areas where they can easily be spotted. 

Consequences of Breaking the Drinking Age Law in Finland 

Alcohol abuse is a huge problem in Finland, and this has unfortunately led to some really terrible consequences. For instance, getting caught driving under the influence can lead to a year in prison and getting their license suspended. For public intoxication, the offender will be requested to pay a huge fine and also sent to jail for a few months, as Finnish law states that it is illegal to consume alcohol in public spaces, especially near cities. 

Summarizing the Drinking Age in Finland 

It’s quite surprising that alcohol is still rampant across the country even though the Finnish authorities are doing whatever they can to stop it. If you do have plans on visiting the country, just be sure to know your limits, familiarize yourself with the legal drinking age in Finland, and not get into anything troublesome when you consume alcohol. 

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