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We don’t serve liquor to those aged under 21


The National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) claimed its affiliate hotels have not been serving liquor to anyone aged below 21, well before the state excise department issued a notification on July 9, 2015 against encouraging underage drinking. This despite the notification not mentioning the age, they claim. SR Umashankar, excise commissioner, told TOI, “Earlier the rule allowed patrons of 18 years and above to be served liquor but we amended it to 21. The July notification clearly says anybody below 21 years is an underage patron. We are yet to come up with a comprehensive policy.” The Juvenile Justice Act 2015 bars serving of liquor to people aged below 21.

Its a self-regulatory move. We started practising it much before the notification was out. But if someone produces a fake document claiming to be 21 years, we can’t crosscheck the details and stop him/her from entering the bar,” said Ashish Kothare, president NRAI (Bengaluru chapter).

Kothare, NRAI President Riyaaz Amlani and some other members admitted some errants pubs have not been monitoring customers’ age. They said if the Government wants their help in curbing the drink-and-drive menace, pubs/bars/restropubs can install breath analysers at exit points. “We can also hand out bands to those whose alcohol levels are within the permissible limit. With app-based cab aggregators offering round-the-clock service, most visitors do not drive,” said Riyaaz.

According to section 78 of the Juvenile Justice Act, serving intoxicants or liquor to minors is a criminal offence, and is punishable up to seven years of rigorous imprisonment and fine of Rs 1 Lakh.

Source: TOI