It’s Policing, Not Tougher Laws, That We Need!

2016-10-04 10:12

Yet again, our government is turning to tougher laws to regulate citizens’ behaviour – in this latest case, it’s to curb alcohol abuse – draft legislation (the Liquor Amendment Bill), which is currently open for public comment, proposes, amongst other things:

- raising the legal alcohol consumption age from 18 to 21 years; and

- imposing limitations on advertising liquor (especially in respect of advertisements which are directed at the nation’s youth).

It truly amuses me how Government can possibly think that by simply changing laws it can affect human behaviour!

LAWS MEAN NOTHING WITHOUT THE PROPER POLICING, AND ENFORCEMENT, OF SUCH LAWS!

It’s as if passing these laws is going to mean that the under 21-year-olds will “miraculously” stay away from liquor stores and pubs – dream on!!

And as for alcohol-related advertising, do people really think that restricting/banning this is going to affect alcohol abuse?!

Do the so-called recreational drugs (“Ecstasy”, cocaine etc) get advertised? Certainly not!! And yet recreational drug abuse is a massive problem both here, in SA, and throughout the World.

Where, I suspect, drug abuse is under some degree of control is in the countries that actively police the law and prescribe the death penalty for possession of/dealing in drugs!!

So much, therefore, for the effect of advertising on curbing alcohol abuse!

When it comes to the related matter of drinking-and-driving, our government has, over the years, successively reduced the legal blood-alcohol limit in an attempt to reduce the alcohol-related road accidents/fatalities – I believe with very little success!

In fact, what it has meant is that by drinking two beers, within a relatively short period of time, one is now over the legal blood-alcohol limit!

So, we think that by increasing the legal alcohol consumption age, we’ll curb underage drinking – what fantasy!!

I understand that in the US people purchasing liquor from a liquor store or pub are required to produce their ID as proof of their age – even a 60-year-old who purchases a beer is required to produce his/her ID.

Why don’t we start with that in SA, before increasing the legal alcohol consumption age to 21 years? And, of course, we need to police this!

Like so many things in our “New South Africa” we have some good ideas/intentions, but with some very poor commitment/follow-through!

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