The legal drinking age in Singapore is 18 – in the sense that the legal age to buy liquor or alcoholic beverages and drink liquor in any licensed premises (which will include bars, restaurants and any place selling liquor legally) is 18.
Drinking of alcohol at home and in private places in Singapore is generally unregulated.
Drinking of alcohol in public places is restricted between the hours of 10.30 pm and 7 am. Public places are areas that people have general access to such as parks, beaches, pavements and HDB void decks. These restrictions apply to all, regardless of age. During the restricted hours, those who are 18 and above can drink alcohol in licensed premises.
Customs (Liquors Licensing) Regulations
The restrictions on buying and consumption of alcohol in licensed premises are imposed by the Customs (Liquors Licensing) Regulations.
The Regulations provide that
1. licensed premises cannot permit the consumption any liquor by any person who is below the age of 18 years;
2. no person who is below the age of 18 years shall buy or attempt to buy any liquor for consumption in any licensed premises;
3. no person shall buy from any licensed premises liquor for consumption in the premises by a person who is below the age of 18 years.
Definition of Liquor
The Custom Act defines “Liquor” to mean —
(a) a mixture of alcohol (or ethanol) and some other substances containing more than 0.5 per cent alcohol by mass; or
(b) a mixture of alcohol and water containing more than 0.5 per cent alcohol by volume, which is fit, or intended, or can by any means be converted, for use as a beverage, but does not include denatured spirit.
Under the Custom Act no person may sell liquor except with a licence granted under the Act. A license will specify place where liquor may be sold under the licence – that place is the licensed premises. Restaurants, coffeeshops, bars, nightclubs and any other place selling alcohol would need to be licensed.
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