Tue | Jan 23, 2018

Letter of the Day | Raise the legal drinking age

Published:Friday | March 10, 2017 | 12:00 AM


With the current debate about banning music, or at least banning the production of music of convicted criminals serving time behind bars, it would be prudent for our parliamentarians to consider also raising the age limit for alcohol purchase and consumption from 18 years to 21 years.

The current age limit of 18 is clearly low. The inability to enforce the law prohibiting underage alcohol consumption at dances and parties is glaring evidence that the age limit should be raised. Other countries such as Cote d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Iraq, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and the United States have a minimum legal drinking age of 21 years.

It is already clear that alcohol impairs judgement, even in adults over 30 years old. Unpopular as it may be with alcohol beverage companies and the youth themselves, the broader picture must be taken into account. With all the ills of society today, raising Jamaica's minimum legal drinking age will assist with curbing these ills.

I call on the member of parliament for South East St Ann Lisa Hanna and the Member of Parliament for South West St Elizabeth Floyd Green, both charged with the political responsibility for youth, to make a bipartisan plea to raise the minimum age limit for alcohol purchase and consumption in Jamaica to 21 years.

Duncan Buchanan