In the past, individuals caught drinking without an alcohol license faced penalties, 6 months of imprisonment, or both as punishment.
With its modernization journey, the UAE government has implemented numerous reforms to align with its global status.
This article delves into the punishment for drinking alcohol in UAE, shedding light on the penalties associated with its misuse.
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New Punishment for Drinking Alcohol in UAE
Previously, failure to comply with the licenses rules would result in a penalty of six months imprisonment and a fine of five thousand dirhams.
The UAE has moved away from the requirement of licenses for personal alcohol consumption, marking a significant shift from previous regulations. Check “Decree No. 15 of 2020“.
Still, Engaging in the possession, manufacturing, promotion, or sale of alcohol necessitates obtaining a license from the competent authorities.
Failure to secure the required license or violate its terms can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment and fines of up to AED 500,000, as stipulated in Article 363/2 of the new Penal Code.
While personal consumption may be permissible, public consumption of alcohol or drinking in unauthorized locations is strictly forbidden.
Individuals intoxicated in public places, causing disturbances, or endangering others will face penalties.
The consequences could include imprisonment for up to 6 months and fines reaching AED 100,000, in accordance with Article 363/3 of the new Penal Code.
It’s vital to note that driving under the influence of alcohol is prohibited in the UAE.
The Traffic Law (Federal Law Number 21 of 1995) makes operating a vehicle while intoxicated is illegal.
Violators can face imprisonment and a minimum fine of AED 25,000, as stated in Article 49 (6) of the Traffic Law.
Alcohol consumption by minors
The legal drinking age in the UAE is set at 21 years, according to Article 363/4 of the new Penal Code. Any person under this age is prohibited from purchasing or consuming alcohol.
Additionally, offering alcohol to individuals under 21 or encouraging them to drink is punishable by imprisonment for up to 1 year and/or fines of up to AED 100,000.
Verifying age through official documentation can serve as a defence against such accusations.
FAQs about punishment for drinking alcohol in UAE
The UAE’s journey toward becoming a globalized modern nation has entailed substantial legal reforms, including those concerning alcohol consumption.
While general permissions for personal alcohol consumption have been relaxed, specific regulations and penalties remain to ensure responsible and lawful use.
Individuals must know these regulations and seek legal counsel to ensure compliance and protect their rights.