The Alcohol And You As A Child

Adults drink alcohol to relax and loosen up in company. As far as teenagers are concerned, you must follow the youth protection law of your country. The Youth Protection Act specifies the age at which you can buy and use alcohol and cigarettes. Here you can find out more about what young people in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do according to the Youth Protection Act.

Legal Regulations In Germany, Austria And Switzerland

For German teenagers, the following regulations apply in brief:

Up to the age of 14, drinking alcohol is prohibited without exception.
Only those who visit a pub in the company of their parents are allowed to drink alcoholic beverages from the age of 14. However, drinking mixed drinks with wine or beer is still only permitted from the age of 16.
From the age of 16, you are allowed to drink alcoholic beverages without being accompanied by an adult.
Mixed drinks with spirits can only be drunk from the age of 18.

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For Austrian teenagers, the legal situation looks like this:

  • Alcohol consumption under the age of 16 is prohibited without exception.
  • From the age of 16, you are allowed to drink all light alcoholic beverages.
  • Drinking “harder” mixed drinks and distilled beverages is only permitted from the age of 18.

Similar To Austria, The Youth Protection Law In Switzerland Is Regulated:

Swiss adolescents are allowed to drink alcohol from the age of 16.
Spirits, natural wines, liqueur wines, vermouth as well as mixed drinks with spirits may only be bought and drunk from the age of 18.
Even if you are over 16, you should abide by the agreements you make with your parents regarding alcohol.

Youth Protection Act – What Is It Actually Good For?

The Youth Protection Act limits your rights and obligations as a young person in order to protect you until you are of age. It does not only apply to you, but also to your parents as well as all merchants and landlords. They must abide by it, otherwise they are liable to prosecution. It is not always easy for young people to correctly assess the effects of alcohol. Moreover, alcohol has an extremely harmful effect on your body if you are under 16 years old.

That is why the legislator wants to prevent something from happening to you. The legislator is the parliament in your country. Here, among other things, the Youth Protection Act was passed. Every now and then, the members of parliament also discuss changes to the law.

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Is A Supermarket Allowed To Sell Alcohol To Young People Under 16?

As you have already read above, anyone who violates the Youth Protection Act is liable to prosecution. It is also not allowed for under 16s to buy alcohol on behalf of an adult. In this case, too, the following applies: no one is allowed to sell you alcohol!

As soon as you want to buy alcohol in a pub, tavern or supermarket, the landlord or vendor is obliged to check your ID. Otherwise he is liable to prosecution because he does not comply with the law for the protection of minors.

Can I Forge My ID Card? What Happens If Someone Finds Out?

ID cards are considered documents. If you forge your ID card, you commit a criminal offense. You are liable to prosecution for forgery. Also, if you are under 16 years old, this will have serious consequences. In addition to social benefits, counseling sessions and, in the worst case, fines may be due.

Alcohol Intoxication – What Is It Exactly?

People who are intoxicated by alcohol behave differently than usual. A slight intoxication can be quite pleasant and make you more self-confident. The drunker you are, the more it acts as a disadvantage for you. You may have observed a heavily intoxicated person before. Losing control like that is never nice. Because alcohol in large quantities acts like a neurotoxin, its effect on the body should not be underestimated.

The Following Dangers Arise In Alcohol Intoxication:

Situations are misjudged. When drunk, you may think you are stronger, more mature or more adult than you actually are.
Your body does not always react the way you want it to. You can sometimes lose control of your movements and the feeling for your body. Then it is very easy for you to get seriously injured. For example, you could slip and hit your head.
Don’t underestimate the violent tendencies of other drunks! When intoxicated, your friends and acquaintances may react more emotionally than usual. Try to avoid arguments.
Once you’re drunk, you quickly lose track of your drinking behavior. Many drunk people carelessly keep drinking even though they are already in a drunken stupor.
You become careless. Don’t stay anywhere alone when you are drinking alcohol. Otherwise you will easily become a target for thieves and crooks.
If you already have a moped or car license, follow the appropriate regulations. It is best not to operate machinery or vehicles when you have been drinking alcohol. Even small amounts can affect your driving safety.

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Alcohol Consumption And Alcohol Abuse

Can you explain the difference between alcohol consumption and alcohol abuse? Alcohol consumption is when adults and teens over the age of 16 consume alcohol in moderation. In other words, they do it “for pleasure.” This also means that certain limits are not exceeded. Enjoyment does not mean getting drunk to the point of unconsciousness. Likewise, one cannot speak of enjoyment when adults and young people drink so much that they can no longer control themselves. Because that would be alcohol abuse.

Alcohol abuse is therefore when someone drinks so much that he loses control over himself and his actions. At worst, he harms others by starting a fight or damaging other people’s property. Some drunk adults and teens even end up in the hospital. Those who drink too much can suffer alcohol poisoning. If this poisoning is not treated, it can sometimes be fatal.

Drinking does not necessarily mean being drunk. Many people drink one or more light beverages for pleasure without getting intoxicated.

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However, the boundary between alcohol consumption and alcohol abuse is not always easy to assess at the beginning. In a fun group, one drink follows the next and the fun quickly gets out of control. So remember to always ask yourself:

How much have I drunk so far today?
Am I already drunk?
Am I under control?
Do you still have questions about alcohol? You can find more articles on this topic on our site.

Worksheet For The Text

1) Explain the difficult words from the text.

What does…

Youth Protection Act

Alcohol intoxication

Forgery of documents

Alcohol intoxication

Alcohol abuse

2) Are you allowed to consume alcohol? Which regulation applies to you? Write down your answer here.

3) What experiences have you had with alcohol or drunk people? Share your experience with the person sitting next to you.

4) What are the disadvantages of drinking alcohol? How does it affect your body?

Photo: Serjiunea /

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