Time to review outdated laws on alcohol

Letters, Normal

Every day, we read about alcohol-related problems.
Alcohol abuse is serious and is the root cause of many social problems in the country.
Alcohol abuse leads to a rise in rape, harassment, HIV/AIDS, drug consumption, etc.
Alcohol is also used as a form of bribery.
Total ban on alcohol will not solve anything, let alone reduce the problems because this will encourage more production and consumption of homebrew.
The appropriate step to take is to review legislations regulating brewing, sale, distribution and consumption of alcohol and enforcing these laws. 
There is a need to review the laws on alcohol because:
* Many of the Acts relating to alcohol are outdated as they were enacted more than 30 years ago. For instance, Excise (Beer) Act 1952, Liquor (Licensing) Act 1963, Distillation Act 1955 and Liquor Provisions Act 1973;
* Many of the laws and regulations are not effectively enforced by enforcement agencies; 
* The penalties on crimes relating to alcohol are not tough enough. As a result, alcohol-related crimes are escalating;
* Production and consumption of alcohol have followed the trend of increased marketing. There will always be supply because of the demand is high. Black markets are rampant both in rural and urban areas. They have become a sore eye in settlements and anyone, including children, with money can buy alcohol.; and
* Education and awareness on the laws, penalties, dangers, causes and effects of alcohol is lacking and must be made known to the public through the media, role plays, and schools because the young population is vulnerable to influence and peer pressure.
The control of supply starts from our homes and simple measures like the following must be encourage:
* Talk to your family, especially children, about dangers of consuming alcohol;
* Do not send children to buy alcohol;
* Do not buy liquor from illegally outlets or black markets; and
* Report instances of abuse of alcohol to the law authorities, for example, disturbance, fights, harassment and so on.


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