89.4 per cent youth consume alcohol before turning 21, claims survey
New Delhi, Mar 17: Over 43 per cent of underage drinkers have alcohol two to four times a week in Delhi and over 89 per cent of respondents had their first drink before 21 years, according to a new survey.
The legal age of drinking in Delhi is 25 years.
Almost 44.5 per cent of respondents admitted to rash driving, speed biking and stunt biking after getting drunk. They also admitted to not following safety protocols such as wearing seat belts and helmets.
Of those surveyed, 35.8 per cent admitted that they got into brawls and 19.7 pc displayed aggressive behaviour towards the other gender after drinking.
The survey was conducted by Community Against Drunken Driving (CADD) from November 20 to December 31, 2021, among 10,000 people outside 50 prominent liquor vends, bars and restaurants. The respondents, 5976 males and 4024 females, were below the age of 25 years. It revealed an increase in alcohol consumption by the underage, a rise in expenditure on alcohol and the ease with which youth were able to purchase and consume alcohol at various places without any checks.
"Seventeen per cent of respondents had had their first drink in the age 13-15 years while for 37.1 per cent their first drink was in the age of 16- 18 years.
"What was alarming was that almost 89.4 per cent of respondents had alcohol before the age of 21 years. Almost 73.4 per cent of respondents easily procured alcohol from bars, pubs and liquor vends and 21.2 per cent got their alcohol from their home or friends' home," the survey report pointed out. Easy availability of alcohol without any monitoring is a big factor in underage consumption, it noted.
The survey found that 43.1 per cent of respondents had alcohol at a bar, pub or restaurant and almost 24.6 pc had drinks in a car or a public space. Weekly consumption of alcohol was at an all-time high with almost 45.1 per cent of respondents having alcohol two to four times in a week and 11.1 per cent having it almost six times a week, it added. According to the survey, weekends was the most preferred occasion for drinking for young people.
"However most of them admitted that since they have just started drinking they consume alcohol on almost any occasion, sometimes multiple times in a week." It found that 89.3 per cent of respondents admitted to having five or more glasses of drink in one sitting which amounts to binge drinking. "Both girls and boys binged on all kinds of alcohol, but they preferred shots. Underage consumers have almost 90 per cent of their alcohol through binge drinking which is harmful and can even prove fatal," the report said.
The survey pointed out that none of the respondents was ever asked for id proof before buying or being served alcohol. "None of the respondents were prosecuted by the police, the excise department, or any other authority for purchasing or consuming alcohol while being underage. Only 5.5 per cent of respondents were prosecuted for drunk driving," it said. Community against drunken driving is an NGO working towards developing social responsibility and helping individuals and communities to make an intelligent choice towards drunk driving and road safety practices.