Romulan Ale is illegal in the Federation for decades, but both Kirk and Picard and their senior crews are seemingly able to acquire it without too much difficulty, implying that enforcement of the ban may be somewhat weak or that prosecuting offenders is considered a low priority.

What is the official penalty for unlawful possession of Romulan Ale? Six months of community service scrubbing bird waste off the Golden Gate Bridge? A year in jail? Death? Is any hint ever given as to how serious a crime possession of Romulan Ale actually is?

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    From Star Trek VI, drinking it would seem to be punishment enough. (I actually got some blue-tinted beer that was marketed as official Star Trek Romulan Ale as a birthday present once. It was the worst beer I have ever had.)
    – Buzz
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 18:09
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    Yeah, I'm pretty sure that it's death. Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 21:09
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    I heard once they were going to market warnog (Klingon beer)- anybody know what that tastes like?
    – Nu'Daq
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 2:48

1 Answer 1


In the absence of canonical evidence, we can only speculate.

Out-of-universe, however, the ban on Romulan Ale was very probably inspired by the real-life ban on Cuban cigars so it seems likely that the penalties are similar. So long as you're buying for personal use, it would appear that typically means a modest fine or, in the context of Star Trek, a non-monetary penalty of similar severity. Imprisonment of more than a few days seems unlikely.

This is also supported by the casual attitude most Starfleet officers take towards the ban.

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    Probably just confiscation. Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 20:17

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