Despite all the hue and cry over underage drinking and the legal age of drinking fixed at 25, it has been found that people in the age group of 18 to 25 years have easy access to alcohol in Delhi at liquor vends, bars, pubs and restaurants without even being asked to furnish an age proof.
This has been revealed by a public survey conducted by NGO ‘Community Against Drunken Driving (CADD)’ to assess the implementation of the Delhi excise law and implementation of law against sale of alcohol to those under the age of 25 years and if the age of buyers is checked at point of sale/ service of alcohol.
The startling facts will now be shared with the Delhi government.
The survey was conducted from June 1 to August 31 on 6,000 Delhiites at 50 prominent liquor vends, restaurants etc., revealing the sad reality.
Prince Singhal, activist, road safety expert and founder of CADD, said: “The research was conducted outside 50 prominent liquor vends, bars, restaurants etc., of Delhi among 6,000 people. Of these, 3,976 were male and 2,024 were female respondents. Respondents were all above the age of 18 years with 3,422 in the age group 18- 25 years.
“As part of the survey, it was shocking to know that any person between the age of 18 and 25 years can buy alcohol without being checked for age. The government liquor vends, bars, pubs, excise department and the police – none of them engaged in checking age of consumers, not only making a complete mockery of the minimum age law but also severely fuelling underage drinking and drunken driving which results in innocent lives being lost on Delhi roads,” he said.
Singhal said, “I am going to take up the case once again with the Delhi government and share the survey with (Manish) Sisodia.”
He stressed that age verification at the point of sale of liquor is prevalent in countries like the US, Canada, UK, which has stringent punishments and penalties for individuals and establishment serving/ selling alcohol to those below the age of consumption.
The survey revealed that even the consumers who appeared to be under 25 years were not asked to furnish any age proof.
The CADD has been pursuing the case of pictorial warnings on liquor bottles of ill-effects of alcohol abuse and drunken driving. It has also been pressing for lowering the legal drinking age from 25 to 21 years.