Drinking age might go up to 21


PARLIAMENT – Proposed amendments to the National Liquor Act which is now open for public comment include raising the age of drinking to 21 in South Africa and introduces civil liability for proprietors, suppliers and manufacturers who serve to people who cause accidents or commit crimes while intoxicated, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Monday.
Briefing journalists in Parliament on the National Liquor Amendment Bill and the liquor policy paper, Davies said the the public would have 45 days from Monday to provide input on several proposals in the two documents.
“We are looking for a reaction from the society and the first proposal we are putting forward is that the legal drinking age be raised from 18 to 21,” the minister said, adding that the bill cited evidence that this measure could be effective in curbing alcohol abuse.
“The first is that it is a physiological argument which is saying there is evidence that the brain does not fully develop until the mid twenties in fact, and that when the brain is not yet fully developed the impact on the brain of alcohol abuse is much more severe than it is on the fully developed brain…”