OWL Magazine Korea

Alcohol Purchase Restrictions in Singapore: Understanding the Liquor Control Act

In Singapore, there are restrictions on the times when alcohol can be purchased. Unlike in South Korea, where once you’ve surpassed the legal drinking age, there are no issues with purchasing or consuming alcohol, in Singapore, there are stricter rules governing the purchase of alcoholic beverages, as defined by the “Liquor Control Act.”

“The Liquor Control Act” came into effect on April 1, 2015, and primarily regulates the supply and consumption of alcohol in public places in Singapore.

According to this law, alcohol consumption in all public places within Singapore is not permitted from 10:30 PM to 7 AM the following day. Public places refer to anywhere accessible to the general public, both indoor and outdoor, including parks, streets, and communal spaces like apartments. So, during this period, you cannot consume alcohol in these places.

Not only is drinking alcohol prohibited during this time, but purchasing it is also not allowed. This means that even convenience stores and similar establishments cannot sell alcohol during the specified hours.

Additionally, there are special areas known as “Liquor Control Zones (LCZs)” where alcohol consumption is completely prohibited on weekends and public holidays, regardless of the time of day. Weekends are defined as starting from 7 AM on Saturday to 7 AM on Monday, and public holidays are considered from 7 PM on the eve of the holiday to 7 AM on the day after.

However, there are exceptions to the application of the Liquor Control Act. Alcohol consumption is allowed in places that are not considered public, such as private residences. Additionally, in designated areas where permits are granted, alcohol consumption may be allowed, even if it’s a public space. Examples of such areas include restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.

In case of violating the Liquor Control Act, fines of up to 1,000 dollars (approximately 80,000 Korean won) may be imposed, and for repeat offenses, fines of up to 2,000 dollars or imprisonment of up to 3 months may be imposed. Both the person who purchased the alcohol and the establishment that sold it may be fined up to 1,000 dollars.

This provides an overview of Singapore’s “Liquor Control Act.” If you’re a drinker, it’s important to be aware of these laws while traveling in Singapore. Especially if you plan to have a drink in your hotel at night, it’s necessary to purchase alcohol before 10:30 PM.