Cheers to change: Latvia raises drinking age to 20

Cheers to change: Latvia raises drinking age to 20.

Cheers to change: Latvia raises drinking age to 20. Image: Live Riga / Facebook.

The Latvian Parliament has given the green light to proposed changes to the law governing alcohol sales.

One of the main changes is increasing the legal drinking age from 18 to 20 once everything is finalised.

This decision was influenced by advice from medical experts, who stressed the importance of protecting young people’s health, as brain development continues until around age 25.

Latvia will join Lithuania as one of the only two European Union countries where the legal drinking age is 20.

Lithuania made a similar change in 2018.

In most of Europe, the legal drinking age is 18, though Scandinavian countries set it at 20 or older for buying distilled spirits.

MP Ingūna Circene described the amendments as “a minimal minimum” aimed at curbing excessive drinking.

Economic concerns were dismissed, with the focus on improving and regulating rather than banning alcohol.

There were worries about how this might affect job opportunities for people under 20 in certain retail and catering jobs.

However, the committee voted in special provisions to address these concerns.

After the Easter break, the Committee will meet again to discuss more changes to the law, including a proposal to stop selling alcohol in shops after 3:00.PM on Sundays and public holidays.

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Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.