What are the Consequences of Selling Alcohol to a Minor in Canada?

What are the Consequences of Selling Alcohol to a Minor in Canada Featured Image

Selling alcohol to a minor in Canada is strictly prohibited. In most provinces, the legal age to be employed to buy or serve alcohol in Canada is 19, except for Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta, where it is 18.

In contrast, it may end up in fines or business suspension. Let’s know the consequences of selling alcohol to a minor in Canada under several conditions.

Alcohol Possession and Minor People (under 19 years)

The 2020 statistics reported that nearly 16.6% of Canadians are heavy drinkers and the lowest age group is 12. According to the 2019 global drug survey, Canada ranks 3rd based on samples collected from 36 countries in drinking alcohol.

Let’s first help you know the Canadian authority’s view towards minor people drinking.

  • A minor can’t buy liquor, or no other person can provide it.
  • A minor can’t visit a shop where alcohol is brought and sold without their parents.
  • Minors are allowed in restaurants, but no restaurant authority can serve alcohol to a minor citizen.
  • A 16 years old person can serve liquor, but they shouldn’t be allowed to pour mix or open bottles.
  • An owner of a bar or pub can’t recruit a minor to sell or serve alcohol.
  • A person selling, giving, or permitting a minor to drink will have to pay at least $500 as a fine.
  • A spouse, legal guardian, or parent only can provide liquor to their minor spouse or children. But privacy is a condition here. And, there is no exception for any minor existing at their home who isn’t included in any of the relationships mentioned. That means you can’t serve alcohol to a minor guest.

Places or Actions That Influence Child Drinking

Below are the occasions or situations that increase the possibility of minors’ involvement in drinking.

Negligence and Duty of Care

Every individual is expected to practice their responsibility toward another person, especially those who could be in trouble or at risk. Avoiding that responsibility that can cause damages would be defined as negligence.

That’s how a person avoids or misses their duty of care. In our context, we can say that at a party, the indifference of the host or grown-up people can be the reason a minor would involve in drinking and further misrule.

Supplying liquor to the minor

It may appear weird or astonishing but provided alcohol by the legal guardian or parents is a reason a minor can reach alcohol, as we have mentioned earlier.

But, just not supplying alcohol to minors won’t keep a guardian from the responsibility nor eliminate the negligence in the duty of care, as we mentioned earlier.

Guardians should care for their children, and at the same time, courts will scrutinize the environment if the host is liable for a favourable situation for drinking by the minors.

Unsupervised teen parties

It’s nothing new for high school students to drink. Different trends and social involvements greatly influence the lifestyle of teens. And, following them blindly can cause messes that things getting out of hand won’t be any surprises. So, the adult guardians need to take extra responsibility.

Allowing teenagers to have parties at home without any governance or a minimum intervention gives them the chance to break laws. The irony is, the matter doesn’t have the imitation this far.

A drunken minor can involve an unlawful act or any mischief later as they get out of the party premises. Again, there is no way to avoid accountability for the house owner.

Consequences of Selling Alcohol to a Minor in Canada

We can classify the results of selling alcohol in legal and social ways.

The government’s core objective here in minor children issue is to protect them from taking intoxicants.

The business of alcohol comes with a big liability. Selling or serving liquor to minors can charge the sellers up to $7,500-$10,000, or there will be a suspension in the business for 10-15 days.

When it comes to a minor, buying, possessing liquor, or even being found in a bar or pub without a false ID will cause a $230 fine. Besides suing the minor, the authorized person will take action against the seller.

Normally, the liquor inspectors issue tickets inside the licensed establishments while other law enforcement officers can take action in different locations according to their jurisdiction. Police, on the other hand, can issue tickets anywhere.

Actually, it can be easily predicted how severe it can be to sell alcohol to a minor.

What crimes take place as a person becomes drunken? You can name many- killing, abusing, DUI, even further consumption of different drugs, etc. And, yes, the rule doesn’t change here. The alcohol supplier will answer for them with fines.

Last Words

Undoubtedly, the consequences of selling alcohol to a minor in Canada must be a major field of consideration for businessmen.

Moreover, it’s time demand to consider further by the authority and the guardian. After all, we cannot be under the limitation of crime and punishment only.


Is drinking at 16 legal in Canada?

It’s illegal for a teenager of 16 years old to drink in Canada. There can be exceptional only if they drink under the supervision of their parents or legal guardian. That’s not suggestible, though.

What if anyone sells alcohol to a minor in Canada?

There will be a minimum fine of $500 if anyone sells alcohol to a minor. Also, the seller will be responsible if the minor is involved in a drunk crime.

Is underage drinking common in Canada?

Yes. Canada’s 80% of young people above 15 were reported to be drinking in 2021. We must mention that 23% of Canada’s total population are youth who are under 20 years old.



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