Alcohol has always been in India, even in ancient times. Likely, Alcohol Distillation was emanated in India. Alcoholic beverages were present in the Chalcolithic period of the Indus Valley civilization. Even in great epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana, there is mention of alcohol. But in those times there were no highways or cars, so no question of car accidents due to drunken driving used to arise. According to a national survey, an average of twelve thousand people dies in cases of driving while intoxicated, whereas around nine lakh people are arrested in such incidents. 

The National Crime Records Bureau shows that two per cent of the total road accidents that take place in India are due to drunken driving. To reduce this number of road accidents due to drunken driving many laws and provisions have been enacted by different states and authorities. If people follow these rules then there are probable chances that the number of such road accidents will decrease. Different states have different legal ages on drinking and many have banned alcohol consumption in the state. 

In this article, we will look into the condition of alcohol dribbling in India and some of the provisions or rules enacted by different states.


According to the Indian Constitution, Item number 51 in the state list, which manages “liquor for human consumption”, endows the state council with the ability to draft rules administering the matter of alcohol in their territory. Simultaneously, the Constitution (Article 47 – State to raise the level of nutrition, the standard of living and improve the state of public health) likewise fasten a serious level of liability on the state to guarantee that beverages or medications which are damaging to human wellbeing should be denied. 

Each state has its own arrangement of laws that choose different aspects identified with drinking like legitimate age, extract strategy, conditions for giving permit, the reason for restriction and so forth.

In Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Puducherry the legal age of alcohol consumption is 18 years. In Kerela, it is 23 years. In Maharashtra, the legal age to drink light beer is 21 years, otherwise, it’s 25 years, it is the same in Harayana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Dadar and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. And in other remaining states, it’s 21 years. 

There are some dry states in India which means states where the consumption of alcohol is totally banned, they are, namely, Bihar, Gujarat, Tripura, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, and Nagaland. It is also partly banned in some areas of Manipur.

Following are some states with their laws on alcohol:


The Madhya Pradesh  Excise Act of 1915 likewise accommodates the lawful drinking age at 21 years and two categories, nation and IMFL. The  Act makes permits obligatory for doing any sort of alcohol business in the state. The  Act totally denies work of females and males under 21 years where alcohol is being sold. 

Another fascinating arrangement with regards to the  Act is the denial of publicizing identifying with alcohol in the state.  Section 23-A clearly states that no film or spot of entertainment will show any commercial identifying with alcohol. Essentially, any notification, covering, roundabout, name or different sorts of presentations are additionally not permitted. Making oral or non-oral declarations is additionally denied under the  Act. This restriction additionally applies to papers, handouts, leaflets, books or some other sort of distribution. On infringement, detainment up to a half year or a fine which might reach out to Rs. 2000 or both can be forced. 

While alcohol and tobacco promotions are really denied the nation over, a few states have changed or modified the laws. The Delhi law, for instance, permits commercials identified with capable drinking. Alcohol licenses can be dropped or suspended by the public authority on the accompanying grounds: 

If there should arise an occurrence of break of any condition in the license, in the instance of non-instalment of duty, if the permit holder is indicted for any cognizable and non-bailable offence, if the permit holder or his labourers or anyone following up for his sake is sentenced for wrongdoings under this  Act or some other  Acts in power like Indian  Penal Code,  Dangerous Drugs Act etc. On solicitation of the licensee 

For any sort of unlawful assembling or ownership or transport of alcohol, the  Act under  Section 34 accommodates detainment which might broaden uptown one year and a fine which will not be not as much as Rs 500 and extendable up till Rs 5000. 

Additionally, an individual sentenced for the second time under a similar arrangement of the Act will be responsible for the detainment of at least two months and extendable up to two years and a fine of at least Rs 2000 extendable up till Rs 10,000.


Recently, Delhi has lowered the legitimate age of drinking in the state from twenty-five to twenty-one years. The drinking age is in a general sense wrong in Delhi. You can cast a ballot when you turn 18, you can get married at 18 (for ladies) or 21 (for men) and even have children. Be that as it may, you can’t consume liquor till 25, said Anurag Katriar, leader of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI).

The high drinking age is as often as possible noticed uniquely in infringement as eateries and restaurants regularly neglect to check age proof of benefactors, and youngsters utilize alcohol without being of legitimate age. At most alcohol distributors or shops, there is no framework to check for a purchaser’s age. Be that as it may, entrepreneurs and industry specialists fault the obsolete guideline. 

The President also added that the standard is obsolete to such an extent that it will undoubtedly be disregarded from time to time.

The law is referenced under  Section 23 of the Delhi  Excise Act, 2009. In those days a large portion of the states had 25 as the lawful drinking age and that is the reason the equivalent was chosen for Delhi. However, a few states have decreased the age from that point onward, said a senior government official on the state of obscurity.

The Act gives authority to the Judge for violations identified with alcohol. According to section 55, a Judge can force any sort of upgraded (in overabundance of his/her unique forces under the  Act) punishments on the violator with the exception of life imprisonment or detainment for over six years. If there should arise an occurrence of a second conviction under the  Act, the quantum of discipline is twofold the first discipline. 

One of the vital features of the  Act is the intensifying forces (ability to settle minor offences) it awards to the Associate Chief of the Excise organization. Under  Section 57, an individual who is associated with having submitted a minor offence might apply for compounding of offence. On getting such application, the Associate Official needs to apply his/her prudence for intensifying the offence on the instalment of an amount of cash referred to as intensifying expense as remuneration.


Uttar Pradesh Excise Act 1910 administers the liquor business in India’s biggest state. The lawful age is  21 years, with a punishment of Rs 1000 for infringement. 

The  Act additionally engages the public authority to sort alcohol into two classifications — country and foreign. Getting a permit from the collector/district Judge, is essential available to be purchased, assembling and importing of alcohol in that specific area. For more than one region, permits will be obtained from the state’s  Excise Commissioner. 

 Section 23 of the  Act forbids the work of anybody younger than 21 years where alcohol is being sold and devoured. Infringement draws in a pitiful punishment of Rs. 1000. Ladies can be utilized uniquely with composed consent from the  Excise Magistrate and at places where just foreign alcohol is being sold and devoured. 

The main part of the  Act is affection 37A, which indicates the justification for disallowance of offer/import/trade/transport/ownership of alcohol. Under the  Act, the public authority can force disallowance on the accompanying grounds: 

•Seat of the government (a region from where the public authority works, generally a capital city) 

•Seat of learning (where instructive establishments like schools, universities or colleges are present) 

•Hill area 

•Industrial area

• Lowered levels of general wellbeing or sustenance of the neighbourhood population

• Place of worship or pilgrimage (this was as of late added through an amendment by the momentum UP government) 

•Any other explanation which the public authority observes to be material in light of a legitimate concern for general society on the loose.

According to the  Act, if anyone selling or assembling or bringing in or trading or moving or putting away alcohol in contradiction to the arrangements of the  Act will face a detainment of 90 days, which is extendable to three years and a fine of Rs 5,000, extendable to Rs 10,000.


Aside from the impacts of fast globalization, industrialization, urbanization and media impacts at large scale and miniature levels, a few different boundaries that have added to the disappointment of strategy and program drives up to this point include: 

 •Absenteeism of  National Nodal Ministry at the Centre to manage all parts of liquor strategy and prevention 

•Conflicts between the centre and the State level on issues with respect to manufacturing, dissemination, tax assessment and deals as liquor being a State Subject Greater accentuation on the income segment and limited time parts of liquor use 

•Increasing accentuation on other addictive drugs and low need for alcohol

•Absence of a judicious and logical liquor control strategy dependent on general wellbeing approaches

•Absence of inter-sectoral approaches

•Non-accessibility of good quality populace based information through all around planned investigations at public and nearby levels

•Emergence of  the so-called “social” liquor use in a significant way


Joint Working Group on Rationalization of Excise Policy and Taxation

The Ministry of Food  Processing  Industries which is the Central Government Nodal Agency on Alcohol Policy had set up a “Joint Working Group on  Rationalizing of  Excise Policy And Taxation” in December 2001 and came out with a “Model Excise Policy and Excise Act” to be implemented and carried out in every State and union territory of India. The Service has called for popular assessment on the new Model Strategy through press ads in June 2005. Nonetheless, the  Government is yet to take an ultimate conclusion concerning the Model Excise Policy and Excise Act. 

Draft National Policy on Substance Use (Alcohol & Drugs)

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment which is the Central Government Nodal Agency on Demand Reduction had set up a Sub Committee under the National Consultative Committee on De-addiction and Rehabilitation (NCCDR) in February 2009 to set up a Public Attitude towards Substance Use. A Draft policy was created and subsequent to being audited by expert groups, it was submitted to the Parliament Subject  Committee in 2012 and anticipates the last endorsement of the public authority or Government.

Advancements after the reception of the ‘ WHO Global Alcohol Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol’

a)   National Workshop on the topic of ‘Developing a National Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol in tune with the WHO Global Strategy.

A one-day orientation on Developing a National Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol in tune with the WHO Global Strategy ‘ was held at New Delhi on 27th September 2010, coordinated mutually by the  Minister Of Social Justice And Empowerment, Govt. of India and Indian Alcohol Policy  Alliance (IAPA) with specialized help from the World  Health Organisation  (WHO) – India Office. Proposals with respect to the 10 Approach Choices and Mediations were examined and supported. As alcohol is a State Subject, it was chosen to take it further to State levels. 

b)   Regional  Workshops on Advancing Powerful Strategies for Liquor  Advocacy and Suppression 

As a development of the  National  Orientation, Six Multi-Day Provincial Studios on ‘ Advancing Powerful Strategies for Liquor  Advocacy and Suppression ‘ were coordinated by IAPA jointly with the  Ministry Of Social Justice And Empowerment, Govt. of India at New Delhi, Mumbai, Patna, Bangalore, Chandigarh and Mizoram including partners from every one of the 28 States in the country. This has helped in scattering the WHO Global Strategy Recommendations to the State Levels and the positive result is that every one of the States has remembered a few of the proposals for the individual State  Excise Strategy. 

c)    Building up of a Public Asset Community – ‘Indian Centre for  Alcohol Studies (INCAS)’ 

The development of the ‘Indian  Centre for  Alcohol Studies (INCAS)’ has been a welcome drive in 2012. Because of the help of IOGT Global, the IAS and GAPA. We have taken a major test in reinforcing the Asset Place.

Improvements after the ‘ UN Summit on NCDs’ and ‘66th WHA Endorsements on NCDs’

Disregarding liquor being a key danger factor in NCDs, the Public Culmination on NCDs preceding the UN Highest point coordinated by WHO-India together with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare,  Govt. of India at New Delhi on 23 – 24 August 2011, was hesitant in giving due need to liquor in the public plan. 

Yet, the new Advisory Group Meeting coordinated by WHO-India together with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India at Shimla on 17 – 18 June 2013, has perceived ‘liquor’ as a significant plan thing in the National Framework for Monitoring the Prevention and Control of NCDs’ and furthermore have endorsed a particular objective of 10% relative decrease in ‘liquor use’ instead of harmful use’.


The alcohol control project is very much successful in decreasing rush hour gridlock deaths and accidents, with these decreases driven totally by police headquarters that executed astonishment designated spots. Further, more continuous designated spots expanded the viability of shock designated spots however not fixed ones. Police Line groups, boosted by the guarantee of moves, were bound to play out their designated spot obligations. 

Enforcement strategies: Across both fixed and surprise implementation techniques, evening time car crashes diminished by 17% and deaths diminished by 25% during and 90 days after the program, which means roughly 70 deaths were turned away. Police headquarters executing shock designated spots saw a decrease of 29% and 30 percent in evening time accidents and deaths, separately, in regions they covered, comparative with examination centres. Notwithstanding, fixed checkpoints are not affected by evening time mishaps or deaths.  Morning accidents expanded by almost 10% at surprise checkpoints comparative with the correlation bunch, likely in light of the fact that drivers who wouldn’t stop drunken driving moved their liquor utilization before in the day in spaces of surprise checkpoints yet could proceed with inebriated driving around evening time utilizing backup ways to go around the decent designated spots. In general, checking at shock areas actually prompted a more prominent decrease in accidents and deaths. 

Frequency of checkpoints: Surprise checkpoints demonstrated more compelling at lessening car crashes and deaths as designated spot recurrence expanded. Nonetheless, expanded checkpoints recurrence decreased the number of tanked drivers each night at stations that carried out fixed checkpoints. As the number of weeks or the number of past checks expanded, the contrast between the number of drunken drivers got each night at the shock and fixed checkpoints became further. This proposes that drivers adapted decently fast over the long run about the new policing techniques at fixed designated spots. More successive checks might have accelerated this learning and made would-be culprits change their driving courses, however, there is no elective course known on account of surprise checks.

Incentives: Police Line groups were 28.4 rate focuses (44%) bound to do an allocated checkpoint than station-based groups.  Checkpoints run by Police Line groups were likewise observed for 23.7 minutes (15%) longer and halted more vehicles. 

After the program: Drivers gradually got back to drunk driving as time elapsed since the last checkpoint, with the program’s impact completely scattering over around 91 days. Inebriated drivers stayed away from areas of earlier checkpoints  (and areas suspected to be focused on for checkpoints) for quite a while after the program finished, yet returned to their typical schedules sooner in areas that recently had more incessant checking. This recommends drivers anticipate that police should have a restricted capacity to restore checking before a serious crackdown has finished.


The weight and effect of liquor-related issues are starting to be perceived in Indian society. Past endeavours to control the issue have been unacceptable because of informal mediations and non-scientific ways, with the centre principally being around the income. In this unique circumstance and in the arising situation of expanding hurt from liquor, it is vital to develop strategies and projects which would work on the wellbeing and prosperity of individuals. 

In the article, we have discussed the laws and provisions that different states of India follow, the different legitimate age to consume alcohol, provisions regarding working in a liquor shop, Articles it involved with the fine and/ or duration of detainment.

 To make people more aware of responsible drinking requires more prominent political responsibility, proficient association, participation of the media and engaged society. The  WHO Global Alcohol Strategy and the recent WHO Global Framework for Monitoring the Prevention and Control of NCDs are significant achievements in taking the plan forward.

There has been the establishment of several surprise checkpoints or changes in the location of fixed checkpoints which has made a difference in the number of cases of drunken driving. According to a survey, almost twelve thousand deaths happen due to drunken driving and almost nine lakh accidents happen, to reduce this number the policies are working at their full pace but people also need to be more aware of the problem of drunken driving and its consequences because at the end of the day all the policies are there to save people’s lives and for that to happen people need to cooperate and be responsible. 

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