Drinking alcohol is permitted in the Netherlands from the age of 18. Most of the Dutch, both men and women, sometimes drink alcoholic drinks, like beer. Some people only do that at parties or in the weekend, and other people drink 1 or 2 glasses of beer of wine nearly every day.

Illegal under the age of 18

Since 2014 it is illegal for people under the age of 18 to drink alcohol. Shops, cafes and restaurants may not sell alcohol to people under the age of 18. They may also not have any alcohol in their possession. With this law the government wants to protect young people. Drinking alcohol for people under the age of 18 can be damaging to the development of their brains

Alcohol and traffic do not go together

It is illegal to drive if you have drunk alcohol. If you have drunk alcohol, your ability to make good judgments is no longer functioning properly. If you are stopped while driving by the police, you can be asked to do a breath test. This way the police can see if you have drunk any alcohol. If you have indeed drunk alcohol, then you will receive a high fine. The fine can be 750 euro! And you may also lose your driver’s license.

Forbidden in publicly-owned areas

The Dutch government forbids drinking alcohol in publicly-owned areas. With publicly-owned areas they mean on the streets, or in a park.

Alcohol and pregnancy do not go together

If you are pregnant and drink alcohol, this can be very harmful to the unborn baby. The child may develop abnormalities, for example in the development of the brain. That is why pregnant women are strongly advised not to drink alcohol.  

Alcohol addiction

If you cannot live for a day without alcohol, or you find it difficult not to drink too much alcohol, then you might be addicted to alcohol. This can cause problems for you and your surroundings. You can get help to get your addiction under control.

For help you can contact the Jellinek clinic: 088-505 1220.