Alcohol and the Law


Alcohol and the Law

The University of Lethbridge security works with police to ensure that all laws are respected on campus.

The Gaming ,Liquor and Cannabis Act controls the use, sale and supply of alcohol on or from licensed premises like pubs, bars, restaurants and liquor stores. Main rules you need to know about in Alberta:


18 or over

If you are 18 or over you can buy alcohol and enter licensed premises in Alberta as long as you can show photo ID as proof of your age. Anyone appearing under the age of 25 can be checked. Acceptable forms of ID are a passport, a photo driver’s license, Armed Forces ID card, Certificate of Indian Status, Immigrant Authorization or an Alberta Registries Identification Card.


Under 18

If you are under 18 years of age, it is an offense to possess, consume or purchase alcohol. It is illegal to sell or supply alcohol to anyone known to be, or appearing to be (unless the person has proof otherwise) under the age of 18, although it is not illegal for parents or guardians to give an underage child a drink at home. Parent or legal guardian doesn’t include any other family members like aunts, uncles, older brothers or sisters, older boyfriends or girlfriends, older husbands or wives, coaches or anyone else acting temporarily in place of a parent.


Drinking & Driving

Under the Criminal Code, it is an offense to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater. There are penalties for those who are below the legal limit of .08 but above .05 — a level the province still considers unsafe.


If you break the law

The rules are strict and there are stiff penalties for breaking the law for both you and the person who supplies you with the alcohol.

  • If you are under 18 and buy alcohol or are illegally in a licensed premise, you could have to pay a $200 infringement fee, which is like a traffic ticket. If the police charge you and you go to court, you could be fined up to $2000.
  • If you are found in possession of, or drinking alcohol in a public place (without a parent or legal guardian)- you could be charged a $200 infringement fee or fined up to $300
  • If someone buys alcohol for you- they could be fined up to $2000
  • You are legally responsible for anything that you do while you are drunk, and can be charged, tried and convicted.
  • If a bar manager or licensee sells or supplies alcohol to you- they could be fined up to $10 000 or have their license suspended or both.