REMEMBER YOUR AGE BEFORE DRINKING ALCOHOL
WANNA CONSUME ALCOHOL: HAVE YOU CHECKED YOUR OWN AGE AND IS THERE A PERMIT WITH YOU ?
Drinking’ is a term which can be used by common people in different ways i.e. drinking water, drinking medicines, drinking alcohol. Each word that is associated with drinking has an issue attached to itself and these issues can easily be identified to one of the well-known city ‘Mumbai’ in which we live. The Maharashtra state government sets up different laws to each of these Mumbai issues.
This government has also taken up the initiative to set up a law which helps in providing a permit or denial to youngsters to drink alcohol. The Maharashtra State Government raised up the age of consuming alcohol recently. According to this law, a person can consume beer only when one has crossed the age of 21 years and not 18years instead. If anyone needs to have heavy alcohol, he or she needs to be 25years and above. Getting a drinking permit in hand is the second initiative that each youth should undertake after taking one’s age into consideration. In order to get such permit licence, one can either pay Rs.50 per day or Rs.1000 for life-long drinking permit.
According to the law, after the permit is granted to a person, only 12 units of alcohol can be consumed and not exceed the limits. This law also sets a background that if anyone is found drunk without any permit, will be fined Rs.50, 000 or sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment or both of these in extreme cases. This law brings up certain questions that remain unanswered according to me.
If the state considers one who is 18 years as mature to vote, then it should also agree that 18 years is a mature age to drink. Why does the age of maturity change when it comes to the context of consumption of alcohol? The youths many a times are confused regarding the age of maturity when it comes to voting on one side and consuming alcohol on the other side. This in fact may lead to disobedience of this law due to improper approval of the age of maturity by the State Government itself.
A 1000 Rupee note to buy a permit is quite affordable to any youth which may lead to the purchase of this certificate before the eligible age. There are different pubs in the city which are just distributing such permits without being concerned about the age but instead just wanting to attach the importance of consuming alcohol to Mumbai’s Nightlife. With relation to this, what type of responsibility has this law lead to? In short, this law has in a way tried to question the nightlife concept.
If one has an appropriate age and drinking permit, is it that one is allowed to drink and drive? If no, then why is it that there is no mention in this law which makes the drunken driving rules crystal clear to each youth? The reason behind the purpose of this question that has popped up is because if one is 25 years and permit is granted, then youngsters after this age may just practice drunken driving as no rule regarding this is mentioned in the law.
There are even cases in which youths have tried producing fake certificates stating that the consumption of alcohol is necessary to them due to medical reasons. This in turn has lead to doubts with relation to the accuracy of the law. There are certain who agree and some who don’t agree with this law.
Through implementation of the law, the state government’s concern towards the issue is no doubt appreciable but the way it is implemented brings up certain drawbacks. there’s a need to make improvement in this law either by making some changes in the law or mentioning each specifics in the law or by clear cut explanation behind the purpose of imposing such a law.
BY NICOLE FERNANDES