Thursday, October 26, 2006

Now, you need a licence to drink

Now, you need a licence to drink
The Times of India

Bangalore: Planning to party your weekend away at a pub or lounge bar? Don’t forget to carry your age proof.
Call this the Adam effect! Following the episode involving 19-year-old son of Prasad Bidapa, Adam, at a nightclub last week, Bangalore police are planning a major drive to stop teenagers from frequenting pubs and nightclubs.
Policemen in plain clothes and armed with video cameras will randomly check the age of customers at nightclubs. If a teenager is found consuming liquor in the premises, a case will be booked against the owner of the establishment.
“As per the Karnataka State Excise Act, children and teenagers should not be served liquor in pubs and other establishments or even employed. Any violation will attract legal action,” DCP (Central) G B Chebbi said. To avoid allegations of high-handedness, we will videotape the proceedings, he added.
It’s the duty of the establishment selling liquor to ascertain the age of the customer before giving an entry. Teenagers should be denied entry unless accompanied by adults and not served liquor. Otherwise, the establishment is liable to pay a fine ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000, Chebbi said, adding, we could also suspend their licence.
In case of a dispute about the age of a person, policemen will take the person to a radiologist, who will conduct a bone ossification test to determine the age, Chebbi explained. He added that as per general conditions of the Excise Act, anybody who is under the age of 18 is a teenager.
“Action can be taken against teenagers as well, but initially we won’t book any cases. They will be advised against visiting pubs, and their parents will be informed,” Chebbi said. It’s not moral policing, we are duty bound to prevent teenagers from visiting liquor joints, he added.
Police can visit pubs and nightclubs at any point of time to check whether the Excise Act or any other law is being followed or not.
l You should be above 18 years of age.
l Age proof necessary to enter a pub.
l Police will visit pubs armed with a video camera.
l In case of dispute about age, cops can take you to a radiologist.
l If a teenager is found consuming liquor in the pub, Rs 5,000 to 25,000 fine can be collected from the pub owner.
l Repeatedly allowing teenagers to drink alcohol will lead to suspension of pub licence for a minimum of one month.


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