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Letting under-18s toast the New Year with a sip of cava means €3,000 fine
27 December 2016 @ 15:48

GIVING your child or teenager a nip of sherry or cava to toast the New Year could cost you €3,000 in a fine, warn Galicia's authorities – and not just in the north-western region, but anywhere in Spain.

Under-18s are not allowed alcohol in any format, and may not enter any parties or events where alcohol is served unless they are with an adult aged 18-plus, and only consume soft drinks.

On New Year's night, many parents allow their kids to go out to parties on their own – especially as most of Spain is generally safe enough for unaccompanied youngsters to go out at night – but many of these advertise 'all drinks except premium' ones included in the ticket price, or 'happy hours', in order to sell as many entries as possible.

Galicia recalls that for the past six years, regional laws prevent under-18s entering parties like these unless they are with someone aged 18 and over who is legally responsible for them.

This means older friends may have to bear the extremely onerous duty of keeping their younger pals off the drink, on pain of legal action if they do not – especially if this alcohol consumption leads to medical problems.

And similar laws are in force in many other regions.

Bar owners are legally liable if their staff serve alcohol to minors, but any accompanying adult – even an 18-year-old with a 17-year-old friend – is criminally responsible if he or she orders drinks for the underage consumer.



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