Call to raise drinking age to 21

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by SILVER_FOX, Apr 15, 2007.

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  1. Yes

  2. No

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  1. Just read it on the BBC news homepage ...

    Britain should consider making the legal drinking age 21 as it has "lost the plot" when it comes to regulating alcohol, policy pundits claim.
    The UK has one of the worst problems in Europe with a fifth of children aged 11 to 15 drinking at least once a week.

    Full story is here.

    Not exactly a new concept but personally I think they would have a hell of a time trying to enforce it. I mean - they can't enforce the law now, what difference would it make to increase the legal drinking age?

  2. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Drink..*hiccup* what problem?
  3. Agree with you SF. If the problem is with 11 to 15 year olds, how will putting the minimum age up to 21 help
    geoff(ers) :?
  4. There are already enough laws in place to deal with the problem of underage drinking. If the age limit is raised then those that are underage now will still be underage. Not exactly rocket science. It will just penalise the responsible drinkers. The current laws are the ones that need to be enforced.
    The drink related problems are nothing to do with the current age limt. I believe it is to do with the current climate of culture in this country whereby people are more concerned with their 'rights' rather than their 'responsibilities'. It's the 'I don't give a fcuk about others' attitude which is now prevalent.
  5. Well, if they can't stop 11 and 12 year olds drinking, how will they stop 20 year olds?

    The problem is that they will get hold of it whatever laws are in place.

    Perhaps the powers that be should be concentrating on enforcing the current law and handing out stricter penalties to the parents as well as the offenders.
  6. Putting a left handed thread on beer, cider and wine bottles would probably catch half the 12-15 year old 'hoody' yoof of today.....maybe theres some money in that?
  7. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    When I were a lad, even at 17 and a 364 days, coppers would huckle kids in the street, confiscate their booze, pour it into the gutter and make them ditch the empty properly. Few coppers of that ilk around now, those that are aren't allowed to be that (ahem) 'pro-active'.

    As in Norway; make beer 'kin expensive and sell the hard stuff only in government owned and run outlets (if I understand their rules correctly). Sell to a sprog/drunk/twat = P45. Noggies still get drunk, only less often.

    Make being drunk and a cock a more serious offence ( an alcohol aggravated offence- just like a racially aggravated offence) more time in HM Hotels. Some small town boozers are starting to operate a 'banned from one banned from all' routine. Not the answers to all drink related problems but a start.
  8. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    That's cos they're all workng in offices filling in paperwork about the crimes they do stop!

    Here in Ontario, alcohol can only be bought from a relatively small number of outlets, all strictly controlled by the provincial governement; wine and spirits can only be bought at LCBO shops while beer is also available at the "Beer Store". While its a complete pain to be unable to buy booze while out doing grocery shopping, it also cuts down the opportunities for under-age people to buy booze over the counter and the staff at these specialist outlets are far more likely to be concerned about under-age drinking than say a part-time checkout worker in Tescos.

    Try better enforcement of existing laws before bringing in new more stringent laws that miss the mark.
  9. The national drinking problem is not the fact that youths are drinking in the streets, its that people of all ages are binge drinking. When older, more mature and responsible adults of over twenty and thirty are seen to over drink their constitution, be rowdy and raucous, and start to fight and cause trouble, its only natural that the teenage youths are going to imitate.

    Perhaps when the police raid a public house, rather than looking for underage drinkers, they should be arresting those who are too drunk. However, the flaw in this idea is how can the police enforce it? When people go to a pub or a nightclub they go to relax and unwind. How can people do this if they are constantly worried about the consequences if they have too many? The result is people will stop going to the pubs and clubs and will drink themselves silly in their homes.

    Rather, the drinking population need to be encouraged to drink responsibly, and need to stop getting horrendously drunk, and this can be done in a similar vein in the way that smoking has become anti-social. The prices of beer, wine and liquor could be raised via taxes to prevent people drinking as much. But would this move be faced with too much opposition from movements such as CAMRA, the owners of pubs, nightclubs and off-licences who will have their livlihoods at risk, or by the breweries and distilleries who will lose income over less demand for their produce?

    If people drank less, there would be something of a job loss, and hence more people will be claiming benefits. We would be curing one epidemic only to bring to the worse another one.

    Alternatively, if drinks were taxed according to their alcoholic unit level, then this could encourage the breweries and distilleries to make weaker drinks, which would in turn make it more difficult for the British public to get drunk. However, I fear that this would become an unpopular decision throughout the United Kingdom, and it would be akin to political suicide to attempt to pass this bill through.

    In conclusion, teenagers are only copying what they see adults doing, and getting drunk is a large part of our culture. The British population need to remove this idea from our mindset and collectively start drinking responsibly. This can only be practically achieved by either some sort of soft, media campaign to appeal to the public sense of morality, or by a more hard police action approach.
  10. I think there was also something in the way alcohol was marketed, when you consider alcopops which were aimed at the younger market and especially at those that didn't have a taste for beer. It seems to me that problem drinking amongst the young and alcopop type drinks is definately linked.
  11. That's a crazy idea. I'm nearly 17 but can get served in a pub most of the time - I look older so taht helps but you know where to go. Have only really been going to pubs in the last few months.

    What would happen to those people who are 18 now and suddenly aren't allowed drink - that wouldn't be fair.
  12. Could it be that drinking like smoking is the result of peer pressure?
    Most kids start to smoke because their mates smoke, I can't believe that anyone enjoys their first cigarette or even their twentieth, however the kids keep smoking because its cool.
    Same with drinking, its cool to go to the pub or to get blotto in the park.
    I allowed both my kids to drink beer and wine from a very young age, however most of the time they preferred soft drinks. Because it was never seen as something special. By the time they were 18 though they had developed a healthy attitude to alcohol and now at ages 37 and 35 are better at controlling their alcohol intake than I am.
    No need to increase the age.
  13. If someone is old enough both to marry and fight for their country at 16, then they are old enough to drink, smoke and vote Labour out of office!
  14. A reasonable point Always but you'll agree that it is not a new one. Whether the age limit is raised or lowered it would make no difference. People will always ignore this particular law and do what they have always done ie: whatever they want!! I suspect that many don't even regard it as law breaking.

    Notwithstanding, the issue at hand is the ability (and will) of the authorities to stop those legally underage from accessing and drinking alcohol. With fewer and fewer police and legal resources being stretched over an ever increasing set of laws the task of enforcing some of the simpler and more traditional laws has become more difficult. The Police have little alternative but to channel resources into specific areas of concern - usually those which the politicians decide are the vote winners / killers.

    As to raising the age for legal drinking - can it realistically be done? Probably, but with a certain amount of resistance. Can it be enforced? Unlikely.

    If I were into mild conspiracy theories I'd begin to think the Government leaked stuff like this so they could whip up outrage and then ride in on a white horse and quash it saying that the people didn't want it and having listened to the people (yeah - right) they abandoned the idea.

  15. I think raising the legal drinking age to 21 is a step too far and smacks of the Nanny State.
    However I do believe that the current drinking law is open to abuse by teenagers.
    The problem we have with underage drinking is largely due to the 18-20 age group buying drink for their underage friends. I feel a good compromise would be to raise the age at which alcohol can be purchased in shops and off licences to 21. There’s a good chance that if you are 21 or older you will be less likely to buy alcohol for those underage. The age limit would remain at 18 in pubs, clubs and restaurants where regulation is already in place.
  16. dont kn0w where u live but my local tesco does not serve under 21s with alchohol or under 18s with ciggies as for pubs .. i thought it was ilegal for landlords to serve people who they assume to be drunk hitting landlords in the pocket may be a way ??
  17. Does the system in Ontario work though?
    My experiences in Canada have been that there is a considerable alcohol and drugs problem, so much so that many city centres are becoming no go areas.
    I remember a New Years Eve rain of beer bottles coming from high rise buildings, and feeling distinctly threatened in many parts of several Canadian cities.
    Thunder Bay was a complete shock even to someone who has seen his own UK city decline over the years; the place looked very very run down. There were drunks on almost every street corner in the city centre.
    Wholesale lack of behaviour under the influence of alcohol seems to be a northern european trait, and extends to all areas of the world where these people predominate or have significant influence.
    Proper education from the cradle is the only way, in my opinion, that the matter will be solved.
    I agree that further prohibition/laws will be virtually useless without the necessary education.
    (The rolling english drunkard made the rolling english road)..But didn't put the speed cameras there!
  18. I know in tescos that if you buy booze with a group of chums and if one of them dos'nt have their I.D its a no sell
  19. The drinks industry will never want something like that to happen, most students drink at least their weight in alcohol every week!
  20. Raising the drinking age is about as useless as tits on a bull!! Kids will always drink underage, smoke underage and have underage sex!! I agree with Slim. Parents need to think very seriously about educating their kids. If they can see it's no big deal and is to be done in safe measures, then hopefully they will be less inclined to binge drink.

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