Letter: Enforce law for young drinkers

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Sir: I was not surprised to read that the J D Wetherspoon pub chain, after carefully checking it would not hit their profits, has succumbed to the latest moral panic and is banning alcopops from its pubs ("Pub group calls time on alcopops as more companies join ban", 5 August). It is an easy way out of dealing with the real problem of under-age drinking, where currently the police, off-licences and publicans are colluding together to allow the law to be flouted with impunity.

Go into any city or town on a Friday or Saturday night and you can see the 15-18 age group being served in pubs and 13 and 14-year-olds drinking outside McDonald's or its local analogue. Law without enforcement is as much use as a bicycle to a fish.

When did your local paper last report a publican convicted for serving an under-age drinker? This would do more to reduce alcohol consumption amongst the young. The current campaign is about as useful as dealing with road safety by getting Lada dealers to promise not to sell Ferraris to their customers.


(Lab, Greater Manchester East)