Hitting the bottle at a young age

Underage Drinking

Hitting the bottle at a young age

Underage drinking is going on in a brazen manner in the City. It was visible at two big concerts held in the City recently, where teenagers barely out of school were guzzling liquor.

Some of them were so sozzled that they could not move. And this happens not just at concerts. Regular pub-goers observe that pubs, which claim to keep a tab on underage drinking, encourage young kids to walk in. For pub owners, extra moolah becomes more important than regulation.

Even the City police don’t seem to be doing enough to check underage drinking. Bangalore, with its floating population, seems to be the perfect setting for this trend to grow. The City police say they have information of minors being allowed into pubs without proper verification and they have directed all pubs owners to install CCTV cameras for better crowd management.

Additional commissioner of police (law and order) T Suneel Kumar points out that a lot of minors are found hanging around pubs during the day and sometimes at night as well.
“We conduct surprise checks. Our men walk into pubs and bars in plain clothes just to get a feel of what’s happening inside these bars.

But I think parents must be responsible for their children and keep a tab on what they’re doing after they leave home,” says Suneel. About alcohol being served at concerts, a senior official with DNA Networks explains, “There are some concerts where alcohol is served but only after a liquor licence is taken. We have people who check for underage drinkers and people are not allowed to bring alcohol or any other stuff into the concert venue.”

When pub owners were asked about letting minors in, the owner of pub on Brigade Road says, “If we suspect that anybody is underage and if it is confirmed, we ask them to leave. We have three bouncers stationed outside and two inside. We have installed CCTV cameras, which helps us keep track of those coming in.” 

Bangaloreans think pub owners and the City police are doing nothing to check underage drinking. Those who frequent pubs regularly say youngsters simply walk in without being checked at the entrance. They point out that if one is well-dressed, one is simply let in.

Dharshan Gowda, an MBA student of Ramaiah Institute of Technology, feels pubs are not doing enough to control the entry of underage drinkers. “It’s business for the pub owners, so why would they stop money from flowing in? The young come in with a lot of money and there’s no security check whatsoever.” 

Karthik Natarajan, a professional, says teenagers must practice some restraint when having alcohol. “Underage drinkers must understand the consequences of being caught after drinking. Drinking alcohol with parents may teach them responsible drinking but I think individual responsibility comes before anything else.”  Nithya Chandran, another youngster, says that underage drinkers are a common sight in City’s pubs. “Much needs to be done by the police to check this trend.”

Shruthi Prathima, a professional, observes, “Nobody is seen showing the identity card at the entrance of pubs. Pub owners must look out for such kids entering the pubs.

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