Teenage Issues

Information on some of the issues which affect young people including teen pregnancy, alcohol and drug use, and the laws surrounding them in Taiwan...

Teenagers and Alcohol

The legal drinking age in Taiwan is 18. However, underage drinking is not unusual in the country, as cheap alcoholic drinks are widely available.

Driving while intoxicated, through the use of alcohol or drugs, is against the law in Taiwan. It is illegal to drive with an elevated blood alcohol level or after taking drugs, sedatives, hallucinogens or other controlled substances. The current legal blood alcohol limit is 0.25mg per litre; discussions continue over whether to lower this. Drivers found to be intoxicated are fined, have their vehicle impounded, and their driving licence suspended for one year. If their behaviour resulted in the injury of others their licence will be suspended for two years. Drivers who kill, or cause serious injury, to others will have their driving licence taken away. They are not eligible to apply for another one.

Alcoholics Anonymous is active in Taiwan and has English speaking sessions and support groups.

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Teenagers and Drugs

Drug use is not uncommon amongst teenagers in Taiwan. There is now a drug rehabilitation programme for young people in Taipei, at the City Hospital’s Songde branch in Xinyi District. This hospital, which is the city’s psychiatric centre, has been commissioned by the health department to run a treatment programme for teenagers struggling with drug issues.

Penalties are severe for the possession or sale of drugs.

Teenage Pregnancy

An abortion is permitted in Taiwan to save the woman's life, to preserve physical or mental health and based on socioeconomic grounds. Minors under the age of 18 must have consent of a guardian or parent.