Drugs & Alcohol
Official Travel Information
To ensure a safe and stress-free trip, make sure you are in compliance with local drug and alcohol laws while traveling in the USA. The following is a brief guide.
There is a federal ban on smoking cigarettes or cigars on all domestic flights and in all federal buildings. Many states and local municipalities also have smoking bans in public places such as workplaces, movie theaters, shopping centers, restaurants and bars, while others do not regulate smoking at all. “No smoking” signs should clearly mark areas where smoking is prohibited.
The minimum drinking age in the U.S. is 21. Those under 21 are prohibited from purchasing, consuming or possessing alcoholic beverages. In restaurants and bars, it is common in the USA to be “carded,” in which you will be asked to show government-issued identification for proof of age. You will need the actual document (a photocopy of your identification is not good enough) and you will not be served alcohol without it. Both underage drinkers and the ones who provided the alcohol can be criminally charged.
Laws regarding the purchase and sale of alcohol and public drinking – on beaches, streets, parks and sidewalks — vary throughout the U.S. The days and times alcohol sales are permitted, as well as the types of stores that sell alcohol, also vary from place to place. Check the areas you plan to visit regarding local regulations.
Statutes governing driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) are strictly enforced in the U.S. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime in all states, although specific laws and penalties vary from state to state.
Possession of controlled dangerous substances or drugs is illegal in the USA. The use and possession of marijuana remains a federal crime.