Laws on underage drinking

In Nunavut, it is against the law for an individual under 19 years of age to purchase, sell, possess or consume alcohol. Some exceptions include:

  • Allowing a minor under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian to drink at home or at a private family celebration.
  • Allowing consumption of alcohol for medicinal reasons, or sacramental wine consumed as a member of a religious congregation.

A licence holder can ask someone to prove they are over 19, and are eligible to buy or consume alcohol. If the individual does not provide the proof, the licensee can ask the individual to leave the premises.

A minor who consumes alcohol in violation of the law can be fined up to $500 or made to do community work. If the minor does not pay the fine or complete the community work, it can result in seven days in prison. An individual who sells alcohol to a minor can face a fine up to $20,000 or be put in jail for up to one year.

For more information on Nunavut’s liquor restriction system, go here.