Maharashtra raises legal drinking age

Maharashtra raises legal drinking age

The Indian state of Maharashtra has raised the legal drinking age (LDA) for spirits from 21 to 25.

At the same time, the state's authorities have upped the LDA for beer to come in-line with wine at 21 – previously, beer drinking could start at 18 in the state, which is home to the city of Mumbai.

Speaking to just-drinks last week, the director general of the All India Distillers Association (AIDA), V N Raina, said the move, which forms part of an anti-drinking policy, would “affect the sales of spirits (in Maharashtra) by not more than 3% to 4%”. He also predicted a slight rise in beer consumption, given that 21- to 25-year-old spirits drinkers would probably switch drinks.

S G Khedeker, secretary of AIDA’s local Mumbai chapter, said the government would struggle to enforce the new law. He said that Indian spirits sales will be hit harder by last month’s rise in excise on all Indian-Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL).