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Is It Legal to Carry Alcohol in a Car in India?

You see, it is generally legal to carry alcohol in a car in India, but you should know the state-specific limit as well as other laws regarding that. And today, we are here to talk about the general things about carrying alcohol in your vehicle in India. So, let’s get to it.

Carry Alcohol In A Car

What Are The General Rules for Transporting Alcohol In India?

Generally speaking, all over India it is allowed to have alcohol in your car if it is in a sealed bottle. Though, alcohol must not be in any way accessible to the driver or to any passengers to tempt someone to consume while driving the vehicle. The alcohol should be stored in the trunk, or in any area of the vehicle that is not easily reachable from the driving position. But yes, some states have different rules for the quantity of alcohol that one can carry, making it permissible to transport a certain number of bottles without any license or special permit to do so. Whether you are transporting alcohol for business or personal purposes, pay close attention to what the law allows rather than simply what you wish to do! You might be allowed to transport up to a certain, set quantity of alcohol in a non-commercial manner without needing any special permit to do so, but if you exceed these limits, you could be facing fines, and more serious legal problems down the line.

What About Dry States and Special Permits?

India has a number of dry states or states where alcohol is totally banned or strictly prohibited in the sale and distribution of alcohol, and then there are states where even consuming alcohol is prohibited. These dry states include Gujarat, Bihar, Nagaland, and parts of Manipur. Penalties for transporting alcohol through these states range from heavy fines to even jail time.

Even in these states, citizens are forbidden from selling alcohol or drinking it in public; in states such as Gujarat, however, non-residents can apply for a special liquor permit that allows them to buy liquor and drink it within appropriate quantities and in specified places. But don’t get too excited, these permits don’t necessarily mean you can transport alcohol across the state.

Open Container Laws

Many Indian states have strict open container laws. This means that having an open bottle of alcohol in your car is a big no-no, whether you’re driving or just parked. The rationale for these laws is to ensure that drinking and driving are kept apart, as this could lead to safety concerns on the road. As a result, driving with an open container of alcohol can result in a fine, and in more serious cases, a prison sentence. Though, it is totally possible that depending on the state in which it occurred and the circumstances of the offense, a person may receive a different sentence.

What Happens If You Break the Rules?

Messing up the rules around transporting alcohol can lead to some serious consequences. For instance, if you’re caught with open alcohol containers or carrying more than the legal limit, fines can range from INR 5,000 to INR 25,000. And in dry states like Gujarat, the penalties can be even harsher, including long-term jail time, so make sure you avoid any such thing.


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