February 1, 2009 4:27:08 pm
With the debate about youth visiting pubs still raging,a survey conducted by an NGO has revealed staggering facts about underage drinking in the Capital.
According to the survey by the Campaign Against Drunken Driving (CADD),nearly 80 per cent of those who frequent pubs are aged below the mandatory age of 25 years (67 per cent are under 21),and even bar tenders are below the mandatory age.
The survey finds that the average drinking age in the city has gone down from 28 to 19 years since 1990; it predicts that in 5 to 7 years it may come down to 15 years
Conducted among 1,000 youth of various age groups,the survey reveals that 33.9 per cent of those below 16 years of age procured alcohol from government authorised liquor vends,bars and pubs,as there is no mechanism to verify the age of the consumer.
There is no evident structure for enforcing underage drinking laws by the police or the excise department; there is no awareness policy by the government, Prince Singhal,who heads the NGO,said. Two-thirds of parents we spoke to feel even if they want to prevent their child from underage drinking,they have little option,as outside they can easily access alcohol.
In Delhi,on an average 2,000 youths under 21 years of age die annually in accidents,unintentional injuries,homicides and suicides that involve underage drinking.
In the age group of 18 to 20 years,60.1 per cent have driven a vehicle under the influence of alcohol; 27.3 per cent youth in the age group of 14-16 years,and 53.2 per cent in 16-18 years have driven in inebriated state.
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