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Bahamas Legal Drinking Age

Susan Laurent
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by Susan Laurent

Sipping a cocktail in The Bahamas is the epitome of a vacation dream come true. But before you start packing, it’s good to know the do’s and don’ts.

Here’s the lowdown:

  • The legal drinking age in The Bahamas is 18 years old.
  • If you’re on a US-based cruise line, the legal drinking age is 21.
  • Enjoy your drink in a plastic cup or discreetly wrap it in a paper bag when you’re drinking in public.
  • Drink moderately, as public disorderly intoxication could lead to fines.
  • The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving is 0.08%.
  • You can’t purchase alcohol on Sundays.

We’ve got more details in the sections ahead, along with some handy safety tips. Let’s get started.

Drinking in Bahamas

In The Bahamas, the legal drinking age is 18 years old. That means you need to be at least 18 years of age to buy and consume any alcoholic beverage, from beer and wine to cocktails.

US Citizens and the Drinking Age in The Bahamas

The legal drinking age in the United States is 21, however, because The Bahamas aren’t part of the United States, US drinking age laws don’t apply there. That means that US citizens can legally purchase and drink alcoholic beverages in The Bahamas at the age of 18.

However, US laws apply the minute you land back home. This means that bringing alcohol purchased in The Bahamas back home if you’re under the age of 21 is illegal.

Drinking Age on US Cruise Ships to The Bahamas

Cruise ships departing from the United States typically abide by the laws of the country where they are registered, which is the United States.

This means that the legal drinking age on US-based cruise lines is 21. If you’re under 21, you won’t be able to drink on the ship. The Bahamian legal drinking age will apply to you the moment you step foot on a Bahamian island.

Bahamian Rules for Public Drinking

In The Bahamas, drinking alcoholic beverages in public places is permitted, but there are a few rules to keep in mind.

  • You must be of legal drinking age.
  • Your drink needs to be in a plastic cup or wrapped in a paper bag to maintain discretion.
  • Drink responsibly and avoid any disorderly behavior.

Public Drunkenness in The Bahamas

While drinking in public places is legal in The Bahamas, the keyword is moderation. Under Bahamian law, if someone is caught drunk in public, they could face penalties.

The penalty may include paying a fine, deportation, or jail time. The severity of the penalty is determined by the individual’s level of drunkenness, with disorderly and violent behavior resulting in more serious consequences. So, enjoy your drinks in The Bahamas, but do so responsibly to avoid any unwanted legal complications.

Drive Safe, Stay Sober: Drunk Driving Laws in The Bahamas

Drunk driving in The Bahamas is a serious offense, and the authorities don’t take it lightly. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers is 0.08% — the same as other popular vacation hubs like Hawaii  and Mexico.

The penalties for drunk driving in The Bahamas are fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment. Drunk driving isn’t only illegal but also incredibly dangerous, as you risk the safety of yourself and others on the road. So if you’re planning on consuming alcohol when you go out, it’s best to take a taxi or share a ride back to your accommodation.

Where and When Can You Buy Alcohol in The Bahamas?

Liquor Store in Bahamas

Alcoholic beverages in The Bahamas are available at markets and liquor stores between 7am and 9pm, Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, stores don’t sell alcohol.

On the flip side, hotels, clubs, casinos, and restaurants have the privilege of serving alcohol every day during their business hours, including Sundays. If you’re looking for a drink on a Sunday, you can visit one of these establishments.

Essential Tips for Responsible Drinking in The Bahamas

  • Hydrate with plenty of water
  • Don’t leave your drink unattended, as it only takes a moment for someone to tamper with it
  • Avoid confrontation under the influence of alcohol
  • Keep an eye on your belongings, like your purse, wallet, or phone to minimize the risk of lost or stolen valuables.
  • Planning your safe return is very important. Uber isn’t available in The Bahamas, but the Bahama Cruise Taxi Cab can conveniently get you back from the bar to your hotel
  • Mixing different drinks can make you get drunk faster, upset your stomach, and leave you with a nasty hangover the next day
  • Group night outs are the safest — they reduce the chance that you’ll get lost or end up in a risky situation.
  • Moderation is the key to staying in control of your surroundings and ensuring you have a clear, level-headed judgment of the situation

Bahamian Drinks to Try

Yellow Bird

Lastly, we want to share what local beverages you can try in this tropical paradise.

These are some of our favorites, with the key alcohol being rum — the Bahamas’ trademark beverage.

Yellow Bird — A Bahamian cocktail known for its vibrant yellow hue and tropical flavor profile. It typically combines various fruit juices and rum, so it has a refreshing and slightly sweet taste.

Sky Juice — The name captures the light and airy flavor profile of the drink. This cocktail is made by blending coconut water, condensed milk, and gin, creating a smooth and subtly sweet flavor.

Goombay Smash — Goombay Smash is a classic Bahamian cocktail that combines rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and a hint of coconut. It’s like a burst of fruity paradise in a glass!

Bahama Mama — Mama is a mixture of rum, coconut cream, pineapple juice, and various fruit juices like orange and grenadine. It boasts a deep red or purplish hue and delivers a sweet, fruity, and slightly tangy experience.

Bushwacker — This cocktail has a rich, chocolatey color and a flavor profile that combines creamy coconut, coffee liqueur, and chocolate syrup with the kick of rum. It’s like a tropical milkshake but for grown-ups.

Rum Punch — Adored for its simplicity and refreshing taste. The flavor is a blend of rum, citrus juices (like orange and pineapple), grenadine for a touch of sweetness, and sometimes a hint of nutmeg. The result is a zesty and slightly sweet concoction.

Cheers to Responsible Drinking and Safe Travels

When it comes to Bahamian drinks, rum is the star of the show! But before you get too carried away with the excitement, remember that the legal drinking age is 18.

If you’re of age to drink, that’s fantastic. Just remember a few simple guidelines to stay out of hot water: use a plastic cup or wrap your drink in public and stick to the legal blood alcohol limit of 0.08% while driving.

And don’t forget, on Sundays, you won’t find alcohol for sale in stores, but you can still have a drink at hotels, clubs, casinos, and restaurants. Cheers, and have a great vacation!

About Susan Laurent
Susan Laurent
I'm passionate about world cultures, travel, and discovering amazing new places. I've spent years traveling the globe, very often alone, so I focus on providing important information about travel safety to travelers that I've gathered from first-hand experience.
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