With the Mumbai police digging up old, forgotten drinking laws and Anna Hazare suggesting a flogging for those who drink, enjoying a quiet drink with friends is now a stressful activity. Here are some more exasperating drinking laws we found1.
In India, the age limit for alcohol in most states is between 18 and 21 years. In Maharashtra, however, you have to be 21 to consume beer and 25 to consume liquor. It’s the same in Delhi. If you want to have a drink in Mahrashtra’s Wardha district, you have to be 30 years.2.
In Maharashtra, if you don’t own a drinking permit, you can be arrested and imprisoned for up to five years and/or pay a fine of Rs 50,000. This permit, signed by a medical officer, effectively states that you are an alcoholic permitted, for health reasons, to buy consume and transport up to 12 units of alcohol. Any more than that and it’s illegal. This law comes under the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949. Technically, this makes Maharashtra a dry state!3.
In Scotland, there’s a law that says ‘Any Scotsman found wearing underwear beneath his kilt will be fined two cans of beer’!4.
In Trinity College, Ireland, if a student is wearing his sword and asks for a glass of wine during his exam, you have to serve him one!5.
In Pennsylvania, United States, a man requires his wife’s written consent to buy alcohol!
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(This story appears in the 22 June, 2012 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)