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This is the kind of thing that really irritates me

No, it is not being expected to drink Claret; that appalls me.

In recent days the head of the Cheshire police force has been calling for an increase in the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 to help combat underage drinkers. Firstly, increasing the drinking age is a foolish idea, as it increases the view amongst those too young to drink that they are doing something special and “cool”.

If one wants to encourage responsible drinking, surely it would be better that alcohol use be portrayed as a normal part of life for adults. Youth will not feel the need to go and get violently drunk if they do not think there is anything special about drinking alcohol.

Secondly, the idiot chief constable conveniently seems to have forgotten that those pesky drunken kids causing a problem in his area are already underage and so covered by existing law. Raising the legal age would only increase the number of underage drinkers and with it the burden of policing that he would have to carry.

Finally, it is unacceptable for the police to call for a change in the law like this, even vicariously. It is their job to enforce the law, not to dictate what laws they enforce.

Moreover, he has called for a ban on drinking in public places, which further takes drinking out of mainstream behaviour and penalises the majority of people with a responsible attitude to alcohol. Again such a change in the law would only make alcohol seem special to underage people and not encourage them to see it as a normal part of adult life.

It really irritated me that the ravings of this police officer have been reported entirely uncritically by the media. He has been given free-rein to speak without anyone pointing out the obvious flaws in his demands, which make him seem misguided about drinking culture at best and pernicious in his attempt to change the law at worst. He should get on with his job of policing the laws that exist and stop trying to abuse his position of authority to interfere with our lives.

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