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Delhi Wine Club
Wine Drinking age may be reduced to 21

Posted: Friday, 05 June 2015 11:09

Wine Drinking age may be reduced to 21

June 05: Arvind Kejriwal and his team of ministers may soon earn brownie points from the progressive thinking citizens and the youth of Delhi if the reports that the Delhi government run by Aam Aadmi Party is considering bringing down the legal drinking age from the current 25 to 21 for consumption of wine and beer in the Capital city

Click For Large ViewThe action, if taken would have another major benefit of separating wine and beer from spirits which has so far been a bottleneck in the cultivation of wine culture in India.  The new law if it comes to force will encourage the young to take to wine and beer in the formative years of drinking alcohol. An excise department proposal submitted to the AAP government, intends to retain 25 as the age limit for hard liquor. A similar rule is applicable in Mumbai, which allows 21-year-olds to buy and drink beer.

A Delhi government spokesperson has reportedly confirmed that the proposal was being examined but a decision was yet to be taken by the government. A similar proposal had gone to the previous Sheila Dikshit government too but was rejected after it came in for sharp criticism from the opposition and even her cabinet.

The move to reduce the drinking age has been talked about for several years. In around 2006, a similar move was speculated and reported in delWine. At that time, another question about allowing women as bartenders was also under consideration. Though the latter was allowed, the drinking age was not reduced.

In its proposal, the excise department has cited the legal age for drinking in various countries as well as in other Indian states, where it varies between 18 and 25. Even in the NCR towns the age limit differs, from 25 in Gurgaon to 21 in Noida.

Click For Large ViewSetting the alcohol policies including the legal age limit is the prerogative of the individual State governments, according to the Indian Constitution.

“Forget about the rest of the world, within our country there are different age limits. While in Goa it is 18, in Delhi we have imposed 25 as the drinking age. In most countries, it is 18. By lowering the age, we are not trying to encourage drinking at all. But it will ensure a check on illegal drinking that takes place today,” said a senior Delhi government official requesting anonymity, according to the news report by HT. According to some surveys, the age at which the youth start drinking alcohol has been alarmingly going down in India, and is currently under 15.

The report said if the proposal is cleared by the cabinet, it is likely to be tabled in the Delhi budget session scheduled to be held later this month.

DelWine is in full support of the drinking age in Delhi and in fact, in India, being reduced to 18 for only wine and beer, in two steps-first to 21 and if there are no negative repercussions as predicted by the naysayers, to bring it down further to 18.

For an interesting related article about law relating to drinking age in California, you may want to click Blog: Allowing Wine Students to Sip and Spit

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