A brief look at restrictions of alcohol sales and consumption around the world

Restriction on alcohol sales and consumption around the world

While there are no laws on public drinking in Singapore yet, it is illegal to do so in most major countries in the world. Here are the restrictions imposed on the sale and consumption of alcohol in six countries:

Country Sale Public consumption
Singapore Retail outlets in residential estates or commercial districts can apply for a licence to sell alcohol for 24 hours. Those at mixed commercial and residential zones can sell alcohol only from 6am to 3am on weekdays, and from 6am to 4am on Saturdays and the eve of public holidays. There are currently no laws prohibiting individuals from drinking in public, although the Government is now looking into it. Restricting public consumption of alcohol is one of the measures under consideration.
Australia Australian rules on the sale of liquor are strict. In Western Australia for example, liquor can only be sold up to 10pm.  In South Australia: A mandatory Code of Practice prohibits licensees from promoting the irresponsible consumption of alcohol. This code includes measures relating to minors, drink spiking and disorderly or offensive behaviour.  In New South Wales (including Sydney): New alcohol laws imposed in February include a ban on takeaway alcohol after 10pm, while places serving alcohol can only do so till 3am. It is generally illegal to drink in public places outside licensed premises and areas designated as alcohol zones, although details vary from state to state. In Western Australia, for example, it is an offence for individuals to drink in public, such as on the street, park, or beach without a permit. In South Australia: The consumption and possession of alcohol is banned in specified public areas. These “dry areas” include main shopping precincts and carparks. In New South Wales (including Sydney): There are alcohol-free zones in areas that attract street drinkers, such as parks.
UK The sale of alcohol at a premise - club, bar or convenience store - must be licensed by the local authority. The individual responsible for the premises must also hold a personal licence, also issued by the local authority. In England and Wales, people can drink in public although the local authorities can impose restrictions in areas where alcohol-related disorder or nuisance are a problem. In these places under the Designated Public Place Orders, police officers have discretionary powers to stop people from drinking alcohol in public.
US Laws that govern the manufacture, sale and use of alcohol are established by federal, state and local governments. They can choose how they want to prohibit the sale of alcohol in a “dry county” or a “dry town”.                           In Texas: Strict timings on sale of alcohol in bars, restaurants, convenience stores and liquor stores. The vast majority of American states prohibit possessing and/or consuming an open container of alcohol in public spaces, such as streets. There are exceptions though. On the Las Vegas Strip, for example, public drinking is allowed throughout the year. In Texas: There are restrictions on drinking at designated areas that start from 12.15am or 2.15am till 7am
India India has dry days, during which the sale of alcohol is banned. These include national holidays such as Republic Day and Independence Day. An Indian court on Oct 30 upheld a ban on alcohol served in most bars in the southern state of Kerala, which is popular with tourists. Prohibition exists only in some states such as Gujarat and Kerala. Where consumption is permitted, drinking in public is not illegal and common in areas where there are bars or liquor stores.
Japan Comparatively, Japan has the most liberal rules. Beer can be purchased at a wide variety of outlets, including supermarkets and convenience stores and even from vending machines. There are no laws forbidding drinking on the streets. However, people rarely do so, with many considering it "embarrassing".

COMPILED BY DERRICK HO AND CHEW HUI MIN