Regulation not the answer (Gordon Simpson)

While I agree with councillors Leask and Manson that there is a problem with underage drinkers using party buses as their route to finding alcohol, I really don’t think ‘regulation’ is the answer.

Surely the law of the land is sufficient.

Underage drinking is illegal, be it in your pub, hall, home or bus. Any adult providing alcohol for a minor is breaking the law. If the purchaser of the alcohol can’t be traced, then surely the responsibility lies with the owner of the venue – this being the bus, instead of the pub or hall.

The party bus phenomena are the latest way for our vibrant Shetland community to party hard at the weekend.

Many of your middle-aged (sorry folks, but we are) readers will remember a time where there was a wide choice of halls laying on discos and bands at the weekend.

This culture has all but died off due to tighter licencing laws. I can agree with the good intent of this regulation, but I also sympathise with the youth of the day who are too old for the youth club, yet too young for the all-too-few licenced entertainments available.

I don’t believe you’ll ever stop the teenagers drinking, but at least in the old days (20th century) we could keep a watchful eye on it, and make sure they all got home safe and sound at the end of the night.

Gordon Simpson


Add Your Comment
  • George Dickson

    • February 18th, 2018 18:29

    Mr Simpson,

    You state that, ” Underage drinking is illegal, be it in your pub, hall, home or bus.” That is only true if the child is younger than five years old. Please check to find out what the law regarding youth and consumption of alcohol in the U.K actually is.

  • Steven Jarmson

    • February 20th, 2018 21:51

    Perhaps if the council have every local hall £1M each, just like the Lerwick Hall (Mareel) got, then they could afford to put things every weekend.
    Despite the £1M investment in the Lerwick Hall, there’s not really that much on!
    And definitely not anything that’s particularly affordable.
    But, having said that, due to the impossibly slow bar service, the savings made in alcohol will easily cover any ticket price!

    • Stephen Ren

      • February 21st, 2018 11:46

      Steven I am a little confused as to what you mean by nothing on at the Mareel. Surely the Hall committees are able to decide to put on events for younger people should they wish to. if a band from South comes up they want paying for the privilege, costs have to be met, be this a local hall, Mareel or the Garriso. The way this is done is through ticket prices.
      Cheap tickets in some gigs down south start at £40 and disappear in 5 minutes so you end up paying £80 or more.
      Mareel is here, and I for one, was unsure at the start to be honest, but they actually do a pretty good job.

      Queues at bars in gigs or the theater? They exist everywhere in the multiverse. I went to the Panto at the Garrison and stood 10 minutes waiting for an ice cream.


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