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Dutch Alcohol Policy

By law, we are required to check if our customers are above the drinking age. In the Netherlands, and many other countries in the European Union, the legal age for purchasing alcoholic beverages is 18 years. By checking the “I am 18 years or older”-checkbox, you declare that, at the time of purchase, you are 18 years or older, and thus above the Dutch age limit for legal alcohol consumption. In the Netherlands, purchasing and owning alcohol under the age of 18 years is a punishable offense. Besides, we risk paying a substantial fine if we are found selling alcohol to minors.

And finally, don’t over-enjoy our beers. Enjoy them responsibly. Cheers!


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… or to read on what the Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy has to say on the subject matter:

The government is working to combat alcohol abuse in our society.
The measures are aimed at:
  • preventing young people from drinking before they turn 18;
  • encouraging people over 18 to drink responsibly;
  • reducing the number of people who are psychologically or physically addicted to alcohol;
  • minimising the consequences of alcohol abuse, such as public antisocial behaviour, domestic violence and traffic accidents.

Since January 1, 2014 there is one age limit of 18 years for on and for off premise purchasing of both mildly and strong alcoholic beverages. 18 is the most common alcohol purchasing age in the European Region.

Public possession of alcohol is now a punishable offence for children under 18. Young people age 12 to 18 caught drinking or possessing alcohol on the road, in parks, festivals, camping sites (exception the tents of the guests), pubs and restaurants can be penalized. The fine is € 45 for youngsters under 16 and € 90 for youngsters age 16 and 17. An alternative sanction (transferral to a Halt-programme) is also possible.

Supermarkets, liquor stores, hotels, restaurants and pubs that sell alcohol without checking if the customer is above 18 risk a fine of €1,360. If liquor stores, hotels, restaurants or pubs habitually sell alcohol to young people without checking their age, the mayor can suspend their licence. If a supermarket sells alcohol to young people three times in one year without checking their age, the mayor can temporarily prohibit it from selling alcohol (for a maximum of 12 weeks)


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