Lonely Planet Writer

Drinking beer on beaches in Goa could land you in jail

Goa is renowned throughout the world for being one of the most laidback places in India and is famed for its beaches and a party atmosphere. But all good things must come to an end and the days of beers and barbeques on Goan beaches are officially over.

One upside to the law is that Goa’s beaches will be kept free from glass. Photo by Lena Serditova/Shutterstock

A new strict law has been approved by the state government and is expected to be formally passed within a fortnight. It will ban the consumption of alcohol in public places and cooking food out in the open. In short, no more lounging on those golden sand beaches with a cold beer in your hand.

While beach shacks will still be in operation, visitors will have to consume any alcohol while remaining at the shack itself. If the owner does allow you to take it away, they could be hit with a fine as well.

Guess you’ll just have to chill out here instead. Photo by Pikoso.kz/Shutterstock

The penalties can be steep; initially you’ll get a fine of Rs 2000 (€25) but if this goes unpaid, you could be looking at up to three months in jail. If you’re drinking in a large group however, the fine will be Rs 10,000 (€124) each instead.

The new penalties have been in the works since last year as officials say they have had trouble with tourists breaking glass bottles, causing noise and disturbing locals. Alcohol consumption is governed by each individual state in India, with varying degrees of prohibition and even tax levels. Travellers are advised to check the local laws before they visit.