Drinking Age in Russia: Everything You Need To Know

Drinking Age in Russia

This is all of the information you’ll need about the drinking age in Russia. The same topic will also be discussed the drinking culture and additional drinking laws. We will also be talking about the punishment that people have to face whenever they end up breaking the law in a country such as this – Especially with its strict communist ruling. There will also be discussions about underage liquor consumption and whether this is outlawed or not. 

Here’s a fun fact about Russia: The European country is actually one of the biggest consumers of alcohol in the world. It is estimated that the average Russian consumes twice the maximum amount of alcohol that is considered safe and legal by the World Health Organization. Sure, Russia is the origin country of one of the most consumed liquors, but exactly do they drink so heavily? And what about underage drinking? This is what we’re about to find out.

What is the Legal Drinking Age in Russia?

The legal drinking age in Russia is 18 mostly. We say ‘mostly’ because alcoholism and underage drinking is quite rampant there. But the government is actually doing something about this, as recently, harder kinds of liquor such as cognacs and vodka – Which is the country’s official drink, by the way – Are now sold to individuals aged 21 and above. If you are 20 years old and below, you are not allowed to purchase any alcohol in bars, liquor stores, or just about anywhere where liquor is sold in the country. 

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

Russia isn’t exactly what one calls a party destination, but there are still plenty of things you can do when you visit the country, whether it involves alcohol or not. If you are 21, you can try out not only different flavors of vodka but also Arak, their second national drink. Arak is carbonated, with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Other alcoholic beverages you can try out include sbiten, ryazhenka, and certain brands of wine and champagne. 

Do You Need an ID to Drink in Russia?

Drinking Age in Russia

Russia is strict when it comes to IDs, and they won’t just let anyone in a bar or club without that person showing them a legal document that proves their age. Both adults and teenagers will be asked for an ID card before letting them in, as they want to make sure that this person is indeed 18 or 21 years old and above and doesn’t just look mature for their age. Back in the day, only IDs were required to be shown at these adult establishments, but recently, the government has started accepting driver’s licenses as well. 

Legal Drinking Age in Russia with Parents 

A person has to be around 18 years old to be able to drink alcohol in Russia, even if their parents have approved of them drinking below that age. A strict penalty will be implemented for parents who refuse to obey this law. Meanwhile, at the same time, people who run establishments where alcohol is readily available cannot serve their products to anyone below 18.

Legal Drinking Age in Russia by Region 

Moscow, like Russia as a whole, is quite strict when it comes to letting anyone in an adult-only establishment if they are below 18 years old. But there are still some establishments that will let anyone in, even if they are minors. Overall, minors entering bars to drink liquor or even buying the alcohol of their choice is forbidden, and anyone caught doing so will receive punishment. There has also been a push to raise this drinking age from 18 to 21 years old. 

Can Minors Drink in Russia with Their Parents?

There has been a recent trend in the country in which Russian parents will allow their kids to consume alcohol, usually when they reach 12 to 14 years old. This usually happens at family gatherings, where the parents and other adult relatives are present. Technically, this is against the law, and any adult caught doing this will receive punishment.  

Consequences of Breaking the Drinking Age Law in Russia 

One of Russia’s major laws is to prevent the spread of underage drinking among minors. Anyone caught breaking this law – Whether it’s a minor getting caught drinking or an adult lending alcohol to a minor – Will receive punishment, which includes up to six years of imprisonment. The offender should also pay at least 2,000 Rubles and “correctional labor” in a Russian prison. 

Public intoxication is also considered a crime, and anyone caught misbehaving or acting rowdy in public shall be asked to pay up to 1000 Rubles. 

Summarizing the Drinking Age in Russia 

Given how Russia has very controversial punishments for its prisoners, be sure to obey their laws and follow the proper drinking age in Russia when you do end up in this country. Meanwhile, there are still things you can do around Russia without the aid of alcohol, such as watching a ballet performance or visiting a museum. If you do get invited to drink though, just make sure you do it in moderation. 

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