Post by Fajer Ahmed
Hello everyone, its holiday season and since I know a lot of people are going to be consuming alcoholic beverages over the holidays, I thought I would just post a reminder about alcohol in Kuwait.
Alcohol in Kuwait can be very confusing to foreigners as there are alcohol related restrictions and crimes, yet the act of drinking in itself is not illegal. The middle east as a region in general has many alcohol restrictions compared to other regions around the world. Even a place like Dubai which is known to have a big party and drinking scene has restrictions on alcohol consumption and international lawyers have written about UAE laws claiming them to be “strict”.
In Kuwait drinking alcohol privately is not illegal, but buying and/or selling, bringing alcohol to a public place, or being intoxicated in public areas are all crimes. What happens when you are caught in public with alcohol? If you are a first time offender then most likely you will be kept at the police station until you sober up. I am assuming you weren’t driving and you did not hurt anyone. If you aren’t a first time offender and other people have been hurt then you could face a fine or jail time.
Please be very careful this holiday season and do not do anything illegal. I’ve seen many expats that have been accused of alcohol related crimes because they weren’t aware of the specifics of the local laws and instead were comparing the law in Kuwait to their countries law. One person that was pulled out of a taxi by police because he was intoxicated was really confused, his claim was that “I was not driving”. Although in developed countries being intoxicated is a crime while driving only, in Kuwait being intoxicated is a crime in public or even in private if you could be seen by someone in public. So being intoxicated in a car is a crime even if they weren’t driving. For more details on the different laws related to alcohol in Kuwait, check out my previous post.
Stay safe everyone and respect other cultures and religions, I wish you and your family a great holiday.
For any legal inquiries, please email me on email@example.com and we will get back to you within 24 hours.
Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.