Test youths to be sent to pubs

Ireland plans to allow police to send “test” youths to pubs this month to check if landlords abide by laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol to those under 18.

Faced with one of Europe’s worst binge drinking cultures, which usually starts in teenage years, police will be authorised from today (Friday) to get permission from parents to train and send young people aged 15 to 17 to licensed premises.

If any alcohol is sold to the minors, the pub will be prosecuted and face fines or closure for a period.

“I want to stress that the objective of the scheme is to ascertain whether a licensee is complying with the law, not to trap an unwary licensee into committing an offence,” said Justice Minister Dermot Ahern.

“The test purchaser must answer all questions about their age truthfully. The tests will be cancelled if the adolescents’ safety is compromised in any way,” he added.

Source:  www.reuters.com