You can smoke legally by the age of 16
The Youth Protection Act wants to support you in your physical, mental and emotional development and thus protect you from dangers. The youth protection law is not the same in all federal states. The regulations of the federal state in which you are currently staying apply. The new regulations for Vienna have been in force since mid-February 2019, which regulate alcohol consumption more strictly, raise the age limit for smoking and determine when to go out.
The most important innovations in detail
Alcohol: From the age of 16 you can drink alcohol in public if it is not high-proof alcohol. Under 16, acquisition, possession and consumption are prohibited. Even if you are clearly drunk, you are no longer allowed to be served alcohol. You can only consume distilled alcoholic beverages from the age of 18. These include B. schnapps, vodka, liqueur, but also mixed drinks with distilled alcohol such. B. alcopops.
Smoking: You can smoke in public from the age of 18. Acquisition, possession and consumption are prohibited under the age of 18. There is a general ban on alcohol and smoking in schools. You are not allowed to possess or consume other intoxicants or addictive substances that induce intoxicating and / or mind-altering states. Selling or (free) giving away distilled alcohol or tobacco to young people under the age of 18 is also prohibited. Shops and restaurants need to check your age.
Going out: You can go out alone if your parents allow
- under 14 years:
- ... from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- from your 14th birthday:
- ... from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
- unlimited from your 16th birthday
You can go out without restriction with a supervisor appointed by your parents.
In Austria, Austrian citizens are not required to provide identification. But if you go out in the evening or want to buy alcohol and cigarettes, you must have ID to prove your age. You can prove your age with any official photo ID, i.e. passport, identity card, identity card, driver's license or your edu.card (electronic student ID).
Disregard of the legal regulations
The Youth Protection Act wants to protect you first and foremost, but also to draw your attention to taking responsibility for yourself. Because a violation of the law can have serious consequences.
If you disregard child protection regulations,
- you can be warned.
- you can be summoned for an interview with the child and youth welfare service.
- From the age of 14 you can be punished with a fine of up to € 200 for things that are forbidden for you under the Youth Protection Act, such as tobacco products, alcohol, drugs or other addictive substances, etc. These can be taken from you. You won't get it back either and you can't ask for a replacement. In addition, your parents can get a fine of up to € 700 or companies a fine of up to € 15,000.
Find out more about your rights in the brochure "#jugendschutz" (4 MB PDF)
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