Ask LH: Why Can’t I Buy Alcohol If I’m Almost 18?

Ask LH: Why Can’t I Buy Alcohol If I’m Almost 18?
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Dear Lifehacker, I would like to know how I can make a fake ID or get some alcohol when I’m two months from being 18. It seems dumb not to let me drink now. I’m going to be the exact same person in two months so what difference does it make? Alternatively, how can I buy alcohol without getting checked? My cousin who is 16 has successfully bought drinks from a store in the Sunshine Coast but she won’t tell me how she did it. Cheers, Kaeylah

Dear Kaeylah,

So you’re asking us for advice on how to break the law? While Evil Week has contained some pretty dubious hacks, we’re not in the habit of providing tips that are are flat-out illegal. Sorry.

You do kind of have a point though. The legal drinking age gets a bit silly when you’re almost 18 — it’s not like you’ll suddenly be a wiser or more responsible “adult” in two months’ time. With that said, the law needs to draw the line somewhere.

If they changed the legal drinking age to 17 and ten months, people a few months’ shy of that age would feel the same way you do now. And so on and so forth. For better or worse, Australia has decided 18 is the legal drinking age and that’s what we need to stick to.

As to buying alcohol without being asked for ID, we don’t fancy your chances. Liquor stores are supposed to verify the age of any customer who looks younger than 30. Your cousin was either fibbing or was served by a grossly negligent employee.

Our advice is to wait two months. Either that, or rely on your older buddies like all underage drinkers do. We’re also obliged to tell you to drink responsibly. (Yeah, like that’s going to happen.)


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  • not sure if legit but it does sound like a question a child would ask.
    Wonder if i can get off a speeding ticket by saying ‘I was almost doing the speed limit’

    • Don’t worry they probably won’t register, then we can continue to have politics dominated by our aging populations resistance to change and interests in their retirement fund.

  • That’s the thing about getting older. You don’t even have to do anything, it just HAPPENS. 2 months might not make a big difference between being a child and an adult, but it is absolutely black and white about the difference between it being legal, and illegal. If you are really upset about it, go down the park on the weekend and beat yourself senseless about the face and neck with a rock. That way you get to mimic the hangover as well!

  • The best idea is to simply forget about alcohol. There is an entire smorgasbord of perfectly good illegal drugs you can take and the dealers don’t ask for ID.

  • Hang on, a 17 year old cant get alcohol?? What sort of bizarre straight laced world are they from?? If for some reason you cant get alcohol just make your own…….or go buy some weed??

  • …it’s not like you’ll suddenly be a wiser or more responsible “adult” in two months’ time.
    Actually, probably even less so on both counts seeing as she’s going to be blind drunk most weekends if not every other day.

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