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Ceturtdiena 19.10.2017 | Name days: Drosma, Drosmis, Elīna
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Sale restrictions can't cure alcoholism

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Tighter restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages cannot solve the problem of alcoholism, says Valters Kaze, board member of the Latvian Association of Alcohol Producers and Distributors.

He is referring to the Latvian’ Parliament’s intention to curb excessive drinking among young people.

“International practice and many studies show that stricter age limits do not solve the problem of alcohol use among children and teenagers. Until now the law enforcement authorities have failed to see to it that the current regulatory framework actually works. Instead of mulling over extra restrictions, they should rather think about what to do with the existing laws,” he told the daily Dienas Bizness.

According to him, foreign practice confirms – Latvian age limits are consistent with other European countries. Only three European countries stand out with more stringent sale restrictions and all of them share a common thing – a state monopoly of alcohol.

“Raising the age limit to 21 years is not reasonable. It would mean that 18-year-old people cannot bear responsibility for consumption of alcohol, even though, according to the law, at that age they are already able to take responsibility for themselves and others. They have the right to enter into marriage and participate in elections not only as voters, but even as candidates,” says Kaze.

“Besides, the wide availability of illegal alcohol does not allow to think that the new age limit will be a panacea. Just recently, the Medical Association spoke about a European survey that revealed quite an interesting picture: 85% – 90% of students have access to alcohol, but only about a half of them had purchased it at a store.”

This raises two problems – first, school-age children still have access to alcohol available in liquor stores. And, secondly, half of students either purchase it illegally or receive from adults, Kaze says.

Ref: 102.105.105.2522


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