7 Of The Most Bizarre Alcohol Laws That Still Actually Exist

At 5’1’’, I’ve almost always been stopped at entrances to bars because I come across as underage. And if I was ever frustrated about that law, I don’t know why because it’s honestly tame compared to this crazy list.

Here’s a look at the most bizarre alcohol and drinking laws you might want to pay attention to.

1. Drunk drivers could face a firing squad in El Salvador

According to this book, it’s still possible to be sentenced to death by firing squad in El Salvador for a first offence.

2. You can’t ride a cow while drunk in Scotland

According to age-old regulations in Scotland that still exist on paper, it’s illegal to “propel” a cow while boozed up. I can’t imagine why anyone would even want to ride one sober but okay.

3. Bartenders can’t get creative behind their counter in Alberta, Canada

At a time when the public’s thirst for unique, original cocktails is growing, bartenders in Alberta are hampered by Section 5.3.11 that prohibits altering a liquor in any way until the moment a patron orders a drink. 

The policy that stipulates nothing can be added to liquor — not ice, mix or “flavouring agents” — until specifically requested by a customer. Not only does this stifle creativity, but also prevents bartenders from ageing their drinks.

4. In La Paz, Bolivia, married women can only drink one glass of wine in public

Here’s a law put in place purely for “moral” reasons. In La Paz, married women can only drink one glass of wine when outside to ensure they don’t drunkenly flirt with men outside of their marriage.

The horror.

5. If you’re driving in France, you need your own Breathalyzer

Since July 2012, drivers must carry their own breathalyser if they’re getting behind the wheel or be fined. The breathalyser must be unused, in date and bearing the French certification mark NF.

6. Riding a bicycle while drunk in Germany can get you sent to psychological review

If German authorities catch you cycling whilst under the influence of alcohol not only will they confiscate your driving license, but probably also order a Medical-psychological assessment.

If you fail to clear it, the authorities will automatically revoke your license. Good luck trying to get it back.

7. In Maharashtra, India, you need a Permit to purchase and consume foreign and country liquor

According to the Bombay Prohibition Act (1949), purchasing, possessing, transporting and drinking alcohol without a permit is an ‘offence.’

The permitted age for drinking in the state is 25, so once you do hit that magic number, you’re expected to submit an application if you want to hit bars on Friday nights.

A failure to do so could result in various penalties like imprisonment up to five years or a fine which can go up to Rs50,000.

Yup. Bet you didn’t know that.


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Amanda Francesca Mendonça

After spending pretty much all of my teen years waiting for a Hogwarts letter that never came, I gave up and settled for being a wizard with words instead. A hopeless romantic, when I’m not penning down short stories, I’m busy imagining my own happily ever after.

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