Kerala to raise drinking age

Kerala to raise drinking age

It is not that there is no age bar for buying alcohol at present. In fact, according to section 15 of the Abkari rules, no person below the age of 18 years can buy or sell alcohol. If caught doing so, the youths can be proceeded against.

However, a cursory look at the serpentine queues in front of the outlets of Kerala State Beverages Corporation which holds monopoly in liquor sale, or the bars, proves that nobody cares for the law.

Warning boards
The government now intends to put up warning boards in front of the KSBC outlets and bars as part of enforcing the law. If the manager of the outlet or bar owner feels that a person does not fulfil the age bar, it would be the buyer’s responsibility to prove his age.
The possibility of imposing restriction on age had emerged in the discussions held at the government-level. Besides this, several organisations had also made representations to the Excise department in this regard. The findings of health experts that there was a significant rise in ailments related to alcoholism among youths have contributed to the government’s move.

The state government’s move comes close on the heels of the Maharashtra government making it illegal for anyone below 25 years of age to consume or purchase alcohol. The government feels that raising the age bar would bring some solace to many parents and families which have been driven to despair by youths taking to liquor.

Kerala has the highest per capita consumption of liquor — over eight litres per person a year — in the country.

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