Drinking Age in Puerto Rico: Everything You Need To Know

Drinking Age in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is famous for its beaches, coral reefs, national forests, and even abandoned tanks on the beach. However, what makes Puerto Rico shine among the rest of the countries in the world is its Rum. It is the country’s national drink and is also the primary export this country has to offer. The United States alone gets most of its Rum from Puerto Rico.

Being a tropical country, Puerto Rico is also famous for drink mixes and is home to one of the most popular cocktails in the world – the piña colada. This is a rum-based mix with coconut milk and pineapple juice. The history of this drink alone goes back to 1825, and its earliest published recipe was released in 1930.

Rum Production and the United States

Sugar cane has been the main source of living among Puerto Ricans. Since Rum is made from distilled sugar cane juice, it still plays a big role in the country’s economy. Puerto Rico covers 70% of the rum supply in the United States.  Only about 20% of the entire population speaks fluent English, and most of the rum produced in the country has Spanish names and is easily distinguishable the moment you see it on American shelves.

Each city produces different rum and is known to make some of the best in the world. Don Q, for instance, is distilled in Arecibo and is, in fact, the most popular brand of rum in Puerto Rico. 

What is the legal drinking age in Puerto Rico?

Being famous for rum production and considering rum as their national drink, it is important to also know the legal drinking age of this country. Despite being a part of the US territory, the country’s legal drinking age is 18 as opposed to 21 in the United States. This is mainly because, by law, this country is not a state in the US.

However, the country is still part of the Territorial Clause of the US Constitution, which is why it is neither regarded as a sovereign nor a state. The issue regarding sovereignty is usually the major cause of wars when it comes to territory. This does not mean however that Puerto Rico didn’t have its share of the warring era.

What is the legal drinking age in Puerto Rico for tourists and foreigners?

A country’s legal drinking age will apply to both foreigners and nationals regardless of their origin. So, someone who is 18 from the United States or Canada may visit Puerto Rico and drink legally. As long as you follow the norms that regulate the purchase and consumption of alcohol in a different part of the country, you’re safe.

In San Juan, for instance, it is illegal to drink in the streets except at street festivals where there will be designated areas for drinking. The rest of the laws are pretty much applicable to the country as a whole, like no consumption and distribution of alcohol during election day as well as hurricane-related emergencies.

Do you need an ID to drink in Puerto Rico?

Drinking Age in Puerto Rico

It is not a requirement to drink in Puerto Rico. Some bars may not be strict, but when they do, one may be required to show proof of identity proving you are of legal drinking age. This is because looks can be deceiving, and some youngsters might want a taste of that forbidden alcohol earlier than when they are allowed to. This applies to both tourists and residents alike, so it will be wise to carry your proof of identity every time you go out.

Being a country where rum is the capital drink, the implementation on proving one falls under the legal drinking age may not be as strict as in other regions in the US.

The legal drinking age in Puerto Rico with Parents

The legal drinking age in Puerto Rico stays the same regardless if you’re accompanied by a guardian or not. Rules can be violated, though your parents may purchase alcohol on your behalf, just don’t drink it publicly, or you’ll be penalized. It will be a shame to visit a country that produces one of the best rums in the world and not be able to drink it.

Always remember that it is illegal to drink or buy alcohol below 18 years of age, so ask your parents about having some first.

Legal Drinking Age in Puerto Rico by Region

Puerto Rico stays in the middle of freedom and captivity. While being part of the US territory by the clause mentioned above, it is not acknowledged by the United States Government to be a sovereign. The good news is it is not entirely part of the US government and has its government as well.

This is the reason why despite the age of 21 years old being the legal drinking age in the United States, those who are aged 18 and above can already drink in Puerto Rico. There are no prohibitions despite those mentioned above. The age of 18 applies in every city in Puerto Rico, although some may prohibit drinking in the streets without the allowable cases.

Prohibitions on Purchases

While other countries set their limits to the kind of alcohol a legal drinker can purchase, the Puerto Rican government does not have such prohibitions. Anyone who is of legal drinking age can purchase alcohol, granted that it’s coming from a legal source. A hotel or guest house, for instance, is issued a license to distribute by the “Secretario de Hacienda.” These are pretty much the legalities surrounding the legal drinking age, distribution, and consumption of alcohol in Puerto Rico.

Closing Notes

While being the main source of rum in the United States, being aware that Puerto Rico has its legal drinking age when it comes to consumers. It might deceive and cause one to think that a country that recognizes rum as its national drink won’t care about someone’s age in terms of drinking. It is true that it would be such a shame to visit Puerto Rico and not have a taste of its fine rum, but actions always have their own consequences.

If you think you’re someone who cannot take responsibility for your actions just yet or someone who can make sound choices, it will be best to wait until you reach the legal drinking age.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

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