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DENMARK - Alcohol Policy

Alcohol laws in Denmark are different for spirits compared to beer and wine. The age limit for buying beer and wine in Denmark is 16 years in shops and 18 years in bars and restaurants. For buying alcohol with a percentage higher than 16.5%, the legal age in Denmark is 18 everywhere. Danish Regions, the interest organisation for the five regions in Denmark, suggested in April 2017 that this should be extended to shops, supermarkets and kiosks – in other words, the same as in many other European countries. (Source: CPH Post)


"The first age restriction (15 years) on buying alcohol from retail outlets was imposed in 1998. This was raised to 16 years in 2004 and again to 18 years for drinks stronger than 16.5% vol. in 2010."


Until 2003 there was a legal ban on alcohol advertising on Danish TV and radio channels but has since been rescinded. The self-regulatory code governing content accepted in 2000 follows the usual advertising guidelines that state that such adverts may not be targeted toward minors and suggest that alcohol is healthy or improves mental or physical abilities. This code also bans the association of alcohol and sports, sponsoring of sports events and sports fields by alcoholic beverages brands, as well as advertising in sports magazines.


Beginning July 1st 2014, tougher laws on driving under the influence will allow police to confiscate the vehicles of first-time offenders. Motorists caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.21 per cent and above can have their vehicles confiscated on the spot, as can drivers stopped with a BAC of 0.12 per cent who have a previous drunk driving infraction within the past three years. (Source: The Local)


Drinking in public in Denmark is legal in general. The law forbids "disturbing of the public law and order". Thus general consumption is accepted. Several cafes have outdoor serving in the same zones.

Danish adolescents have comparably easier access to alcohol than those in other Nordic countries in two ways. First, the legal age for purchasing beer and wine is lower, at 16 compared to 18 years. Second, sales of beverages containing
alcohol up to 16.5 % alcohol by volume are allowed in Danish supermarkets and other retail stores, while in Finland,  Norway and Sweden, beverages containing above 3.5-5.5 % alcohol by volume can only be sold in government-owned monopoly stores. (Denmark - Country Health Profile 2021)

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