Official UK Government Guidelines on Drinking Under the Minimum Legal Drinking Age of 18

The British government has published official government advice for young people and their parents about drinking alcohol. The government recommends that:

  • Children should not drink before they're 15, if at all.
  • 5 to 17-years-olds should only drink when they're supervised by a parent or other adult.
  • If 15 to 17-year-olds drink, they should do so infrequently and definitely on no more than one day a week. Parents and young people should be aware that drinking, even at 15 or older, can be dangerous to health. Not drinking is the healthiest option for young people.
  • The importance of parents' influence on their children's drinking should be made clear. Parents and carers need advice on how to respond to alcohol use and misuse by children.
  • Support services must be available for young people who have alcohol-related problems and to their parents.

The government emphasizes that this advice is based on the research conducted by a panel of experts.

Young persons between the ages of seven and 17 are legally able to drink alcoholic beverages with parental or guardian consent.


  • Guidelines on drinking for under-18s. Drink Aware website (

Note: This website does not provide legal or other advice and does not condone the illegal consumption of alcohol by anyone under any circumstances.