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Legislators consider raising Mexico’s drinking age to 21

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Legislators are investigating tougher new alcohol laws that would impact youthful drinkers. Photo: BBC Travel

Mexico City — The coordinator of Ecological Green Party said colleagues are studying a rise in the country’s drinking age from 18 to 21.

Jesús Sesma Suárez said that the issue is on the table as part of their commitment to children.

Alcohol consumption often triggers danger and violence for young people, he told Excelsior.

“We can not allow this to continue to happen across the country. We have to ensure that our children are as safe as possible,” said Sesma.

Even with Mexico’s liberal drinking age, it’s rare for bartenders or clerks to card a customer, reports Frommers. The most aggressive attempt to reign in liquor is during major elections. Dry laws often are enacted by as much as 72 hours in advance of voting.

Mexico does not have laws prohibiting transporting liquor in cars, but drunk drivers are being targeted more aggressively, reports Frommers.

For now, Mexico is with the majority of nations with a more liberal drinking age. Relatively few ban drinking until the age of 21: The United States, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Oman, Sri Lanka, American Samoa, Guam, Micronesia, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Samoa, the Soloman Islands and Tonga are the only countries in the world that set this limit.

But 61 percent of all countries — including Canada — have a drinking age of 18 or 19. Some areas of India have drinking ages as high as 25 and 30.

And Afghanistan, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen ban alcohol entirely. Muslims cannot drink in Bangladesh and Brunei. In Maldives, only tourists are permitted to partake.

No drinking ages are established in Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Togo, Jamaica, Cambodia, Indonesia, Israel, Macau, Myanmar, Singapore, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovnia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Georgia, Gibraltar, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Luxembourg, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, and New Zealand.

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