Research has demonstrated that alcohol abuse and alcoholism are increasing throughout the world.
Does this mean that alcohol free countries are becoming extinct?
An Unexpected Number of Alcohol Free Countries
Surprisingly, there are a number of alcohol free countries.
Russia. According to a law that took effect on July 1, 2006 Russia could become a country without alcohol by September of 2006.
One of the fears of such legislation, however, could be that the Russian market share dominated by counterfeiters could increase from approximately 50% to 90%.
In spite of the fact that Russia imports wine from 35 countries, poisoning from counterfeit alcohol kills more than 40,000 people according to Russian authorities.
India. Some areas of India are dry. Examples include the State of Gujarat and Mizoram.
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait totally ban the ingestion, production, or importation of alcohol and imposes stern forms of punishment on those who disregard the ban, including many weeks of incarceration and possible whippings.
Some Additional Alcohol Free Countries
Qatar. Qatar bans the importation of alcohol and has made it a punishable crime to be intoxicated or to drink in public.
Natives who violate the law may go to prison or may be deported.
Alcohol is accessible at licensed bars and hotel restaurants and expatriates living in the Qatar can get alcohol on a permit basis.
Pakistan. Since 1977, only non-Muslim groups such as Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus are permitted to apply for alcohol permits.
The monthly allotment usually depends on income but it is typically 100 bottles of beer or 5 bottles of liquor.
Enforced by Pakistan’s Islamic Ideology Council, the ban is strictly enforced.
Members of religious minorities, however, frequently sell their liquor permits to Muslims and contributes to the continuing black market trade in alcohol.
Bangladesh. Similar to other Muslim countries, Bangladesh has also imposed prohibition.
Interestingly, various restaurants and hotels are authorized to sell alcohol to foreigners.
In addition, foreigners, but not locals, are authorized to import small amounts of alcohol for personal use.
Libya. Libya completely bans the consumption, production, or importation of alcohol and imposes strict penalties on offenders.
Morocco and Tunisia. Morocco and Tunisia have a selective ban on alcohol, meaning that alcohol can be sold and consumed in special bars or zones for tourists only.
Sudan. Sudan has banned all alcohol consumption and imposes strict penalties on offenders.
The Maldives. The Maldives ban the importation of alcohol but make alcoholic beverages available to foreign tourists on resort islands with the understanding that the alcohol will not be taken off the resort.
Final Thoughts on Alcohol Free Countries
As discussed above, there are a number of alcohol free countries in the world.
Even though many countries have either had prohibition at some time or discussed the possibility of prohibition, the alcohol free countries mentioned above are the only nations that currently have a ban on the production, consumption, or importation of alcohol.