Tag Archives: drinking age

Pitching my idea: Reduce the legal drinking age

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Having finally finished my undergraduate dissertation, I suddenly find myself with a lot of time on my hands, while also being limited for what I’m able to do with that time as a result of the unprecedented circumstances we all currently find ourselves in. We’re also in the middle of our party’s period of reflection, after a disappointing General Election result and before the election of a new leader to take us into a new chapter with new USPs. In other words, there is surely no better time than now to pitch a policy idea that can be included with many others in our new platform.

Like many, I’ve always appreciated the ability of members to formulate policy. In other words, I genuinely enjoy sitting in a conference hall in various seaside towns and voting on policies written by members who have far greater expertise on the issue at hand than I presumably ever will. I don’t claim to have any expertise on public health, other than my own lived experience and observations drawn from the existing research. However, going forward, we’re a party desperately in need of new, unique ideas and if my first Lib Dem voice entry at least gets people to consider the issue then that’ll be a success in my book.

So, my idea is simple: bring legal age limits on alcohol in line with those in Germany, which are as follows;

At Age 14 minors may consume fermented products such as beer and wine, provided they are in the presence of a legal guardian. At Age 16 minors are allowed to purchase and consume the same fermented products, without custodial supervision. At Age 18, Germans have reached adulthood and are able to purchase and consume any alcoholic product.

We’re a country that enjoys alcohol and for the most part, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Our unique pub culture is a celebrated part of our national identity, with pubs being a focal point for many of our local communities and it is something that on a human level, I and many of my friends and family enjoy. I have no intention of giving that up, albeit in moderation, because it is both fun and sociable. I’m not alone in that, with a recent survey revealing that over half of UK adults choose to spend their free time in pubs.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 18 Comments
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