What Is Legal Drinking Age In Mexico In 2023

Are you wondering what is the legal drinking age in Mexico? Then you’re in the right place!

Tourists flock to Mexico each year, some of them attracted by Mexico’s fame for being a popular party spot.

While it’s the case that Mexico is an ideal location to relax and have a blast, It’s crucial to be aware of drinking regulations before heading out.

It doesn’t matter if you’re heading to Mexico to celebrate spring break or your family is on vacation with minor children; it’s important to drink responsibly and be aware of the laws regarding legal drinking in Mexico.

I’m a travel writer who is a resident of Playa del Carmen and has witnessed firsthand the terrible effects that can result when people drink unwisely in Mexico.

In this article, I’ll share all you must be aware of regarding how to legally drink in Mexico and important rules, restrictions, and safety rules to keep in mind before your trip.

Find out how old you need to be to be able to drink in Mexico!

Legal Drinking Age in Mexico

In Mexico, the legal drinking age is 18 years old throughout the country. That means that if you’re visiting from a nation with higher drinking ages (like that of the United States), you can legally drink within Mexico; however, you’re yet old enough to drink in your home country.

Regarding drinking in all-inclusive resorts, the legal drinking age in Mexico is 18 years old. You could be fined or even arrested if you’re caught drinking underage.

The majority of resorts will verify the age when you check in. They will require an original passport or photo ID from each guest.

The underage guests can be issued a colored wristband to distinguish them from those legally drinking. The bartenders will be aware of the fact that they should not serve alcohol to them.

If you plan to travel to Mexico with children who aren’t yet 18 or teenagers. You may wonder if they’re permitted to drink with supervision from their parents.

The legal age to drink in Mexico is 18 years old. No exceptions are allowed when drinking with your parents or legal guardians in public.

If you decide to hand your child a glass of margarita, do it in the private space of the hotel room.

What is Legal Drinking Age in Mexico

Of course, the fact that Mexico’s legal drinking age is 18 does not mean the law governs everyone. It is possible that certain establishments do not require ID verification or serve Alcohol to minors.

It’s a good idea to be on the side of caution and only drink alcohol when you’re of legally-assigned drinking age in Mexico for drinking. It’s not unusual for police to be on the streets in major tourist areas.

Many young people visit Mexico and believe it’s an open and fair place in terms of drinking. However, that’s only sometimes the scenario.

The law may be more relaxed in tourist areas, but this doesn’t mean you can’t be penalized if you violate them.

Do you have to show an ID to drink Alcohol in Mexico?

The legal age for drinking legally in Mexico can be reached at 18 years old most likely won’t have to present a photo ID when you order beverages in Mexico.

It’s entirely at the discretion of the bar; however, so long as you’re at least 18 years old, bars in the most popular tourist spots will not even ask for IDs.

I don’t believe I’ve ever had to show an ID for drinks when I’ve been in a bar or restaurant in Mexico.

If you’re staying in a resort, you’ll be asked to show your passport or photo ID when you enter.

Carrying an authentic photo ID is always recommended if proof of age is required. I’d recommend having a driver’s license instead of your passport to avoid any issues should it be stolen or lost.

Drinking and Driving Laws in Mexico

Driving under the influence of drinking in Mexico is a crime. Police officers may stop you and conduct an alcohol test if they suspect you’re drunk.

The possibility of being detained for up to 36 hours if caught driving with a BAC higher than your legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) threshold. If you’re found guilty of being arrested for drunk driving in the past decade, you could even be refused entry to the country.

Man in suit driving a car from vehicle interior

Drinking Laws in Mexico

Of course, the fact that the drinking limit in Mexico is less doesn’t mean that the alcohol industry isn’t regulated. Mexico has strict laws about the lower drinking age.

There are Mexican alcohol laws that are in force concerning where and how Alcohol can be sold, and you must be aware of these laws before you get into the habit of drinking.

Open Container Laws in Mexico

Open containers for Alcohol can be illegal in Mexico, So you’ll need to stay clear of drinking Alcohol in public. If you purchase drinks at an establishment or bar with a disposable cup, ensure you’ve finished them before leaving.

But, the law needs to be more widely enforced. For instance, on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, tourists standard drink beers or even yards away from Senor Frog’s restaurant while walking along the street.

Public Intoxication Laws in Mexico

It is also important to remember that drinking in public is prohibited in Mexico and illegal when you exceed the legal limit.

If you’re found drinking at a public location or creating a disturbance when drunk, it could result in a fine or even detention.

Military and police patrols are commonplace in Mexico, particularly in tourist areas. It’s ideal to avoid any problems related to alcohol use by avoiding drinking in public. The most important thing you don’t do is risk being in jail in an unfamiliar country.

Restrictions on Buy Alcohol in Mexico

Some States in Mexico have specific rules in place regarding purchasing Alcohol.

These laws can differ significantly according to the city or state you’re traveling to in Mexico. It’s advisable to verify local restrictions before your journey.

Sale of Alcohol on Sundays in Mexico

Certain states within Mexico do not permit the purchase of Alcohol at certain times and days of the week.

For instance, in the area I reside within Playa del Carmen, you can only buy Alcohol at the convenience or grocery store on Sundays between 9 AM to 5 PM.

Between Monday and Saturday, from Monday to Saturday, alcohol consumption is also limited to specific hours, depending upon the location. In supermarkets, they can shut off the wine and liquor sections inside the store during these hours.

These Mexican laws usually need to cover bars or eateries in tourist zones. You can still buy Alcohol in Mexico, but it is available in grocery stores, convenience stores, and liquor stores.

Sale of Alcohol on Election Days in Mexico

Another limitation that is in effect in a few states of Mexico is that selling Alcohol is not allowed on days of elections.

For instance, an unconstitutional law could be implemented on days of elections that prohibit sales of Alcohol during the 24-48 hours before the election takes place.

This law is known as dry and tends to be more relaxed regarding restaurants and bars in popular tourist areas; however, it will be implemented in convenience and grocery stores.


Rumors about Tainted Alcohol in Mexico Resorts

Tainted Alcohol has recently been an issue for Mexican resorts, triggering fear and a sense of caution for travelers. Tainted Alcohol is a term used to describe alcoholic drinks contaminated with dangerous substances, such as methanol, which could lead to serious health issues or even death.

What exactly is tainted Alcohol?

Tainted Alcohol is a term used to describe alcoholic drinks that have been affected or adulterated by harmful substances. Methanol, an alcohol found in antifreeze and windshield wiper fluids, is a popular additive in tainted liquor. When consumed, methanol may cause seizures, blindness even death. Other substances that are harmful in tainted Alcohol are pesticides and lead.

Recent incidents of tainted Alcohol in Mexican resorts

In the year 2019, one woman from Wisconsin brought an action against the Mexican resort for allegedly drinking Alcohol that was contaminated and causing severe injuries, which included brain damage. In 2020, several guests reported that they had blacked out when drinking Alcohol at the hotel in Cancun.

More recently, in 2021, two females from The United States died after consuming Alcohol at a hotel located in Tulum, Mexico. As investigations continue, there is a possibility that Alcohol contaminated by tainted drinks may have been a factor in the deaths of these two women.

Tips to Avoid Using Unclean Alcohol within Mexican Resorts

There are many ways you can lower the risk of drinking the tainted drink in Mexico:

  • Use sealed and unopened bottles, cans, or bottles of booze.
  • Beware of drinking out of large containers that are shared, like pitchers or punch bowls
  • Be wary of drinks that are free or heavily discounted alcohol drinks in Mexico
  • Make sure you order drinks that are being created in front of your eyes, or you can watch them being served
  • Ensure your drinks are prepared using bottles of water or ice made with purified water.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol with an odd taste or odor
  • Be aware of your alcohol intake and be sure to keep your pace

What Should You Do If You Think You’ve Consumed Tainted Alcohol in Mexico

If you suspect that you’ve consumed Alcohol that is tainted in Mexico, Seek medical attention right away. Signs of methanol poisoning include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and blurred vision.

It could result in seizures, coma, or even death in the worst instances. It’s essential to notify the staff at the resort and the local authorities. Document any receipts or receipts in connection with the incident because they could be helpful if you decide to take legal action.


Safety Tips for Drinking in Mexico

Make sure you follow these essential safety tips to drink Alcohol in Mexico:

1. Be responsible when drinking: 

While Mexico is an ideal place to relax and have a blast, however, it’s essential to be responsible when drinking, understand your limits, and stay clear of excessive drinking. If you’re planning to drink in Mexico, ensure that you reduce your alcohol consumption in addition to drinking plenty of fluids. If you plan to drink heavily, do it in a safe lodging or with those you trust and know.

2. Don’t be public with a drink in your hand: 

Public drunkenness is not accepted in Mexico, and you may be charged or fined if found guilty. Police patrols are prevalent in the most visited tourist destinations in Mexico, and it’s recommended to avoid potential trouble by staying clear of drinking or creating an incident in public areas. If you plan to drink a lot, you should go to the resort or hotel room.

3. Beware of being an easy target:

People always seek to profit from tourists, particularly those who drink. This is even true of police officers who may target tourists intoxicated to get a bribe. Beware of becoming a target for bribery by keeping small sums of cash or flaunting essential objects.

Beware of Alcohol that is tainted:

Recently, there have been instances of Alcohol that are tainted in resorts in Mexico, So it’s crucial to be cautious when you drink. Although this isn’t the norm, it’s better to drink only in licensed bars, understand your limits, and avoid drinking with friends, especially when you’re female. If you’re worried about the origin of your drink, choose the beer option instead of mixed drinks.

Never leave your drink unattended: 

This is an excellent practice to adhere to regardless of where you’re; however, it is especially crucial in Mexico. If you don’t keep your drink in a safe place, there’s a good chance that it’s infected with Alcohol or drugs. Be sure to watch your glass and hold it in your hand to ensure that there isn’t any chance of manipulation.

Do not drink that is offered by strangers: 

Some reports have suggested that drinks are being laced with drugs. Drinking drinks you’ve witnessed being made or from sealed bottles is recommended only.

Please don’t stay out late alone: 

It’s always best to take care when you go out at night and avoid going alone. If you’re planning on drinking at night, it’s better to drink in the company of others.

Don’t drink and drive: 

Like most nations, driving while drunk is illegal in Mexico. It’s not unusual for traffic checkpoints along the main roads where police can check you over and search your car or take an alcohol breath test. If you’ve consumed excessively, you should use public transportation or taxi.

Drink plenty of water: 

Drinking Alcohol can cause dehydration, which is why it is essential to consume plenty of fluids while drinking Alcohol. Since faucet water available in Mexico isn’t suitable for drinking, you should use bottled or purified water when you travel to.


Drinking Age in Mexico FAQs

Here are the responses to many frequently requested questions concerning the drinking age of Mexico drink-age limit:

Are you able to drink until you are 16 in Mexico?

It is not possible to legally drink Alcohol in Mexico until the age 16. The minimum age to consume alcohol across all the states is 18, and drinking Alcohol under 18 is not permitted.

Do you have to drink until 18 in Cancun?

The minimum legal age to drink in Cancun is the age of 18. You can consume Alcohol in all-inclusive bars, resorts, or restaurants when you’re at least 18. This makes Cancun an extremely popular spring break destination for young college students.

What is the limit for blood alcohol in Mexico?

A person’s blood alcohol level (BAC) limits in Mexico will vary based on the specific state. The majority of Mexican states are governed by a lawful BAC level of 08. However, it is lower in certain states like Chihuahua, Estado de Mexico (including Mexico City), Jalisco, and Veracruz.

Can a U.S. citizen drink in Mexico?

Yes, you can. A U.S. citizen can drink in Mexico at least 18 years old, the legal minimum drinking age.

What region of Mexico can you drink in Mexico at 18?

The minimum legal age to drink for the entire state of Mexico is 18, which includes Mexico. It is legal to drink Alcohol in restaurants, bars, and bars if you are over the age of 18 years old limit.


I hope this article has cleared any doubt regarding the Mexican legally-required drinking limit!

Mexico is an excellent vacation spot, and nothing is better than drinking a cold margarita or a glass of cerveza in the pool.

Remember to drink in moderation, employ common sense, pay attention to your surroundings, and adhere to the above safety guidelines for enjoying your Mexico vacation safely and responsibly.

In addition to drinking margaritas in the pool, explore some of the incredible archeological sites, exciting cultural events, and stunning beaches throughout Mexico.

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