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Tuesday, 23 April, 2002, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Under-age drinkers test out pubs
Teenage girls drinking
Illegal sales at specific premises will be targeted
Schoolchildren will be sent into shops and pubs in parts of Dorset where police suspect alcohol is being served to underage drinkers.

The youngsters, all unpaid volunteers, will go into licensed premises in areas where unlawful sales have been reported or suspected.

Although test purchasing already targets solvents, cigarettes, and fireworks, new Home Office guidelines allow young people to test licensed premises without breaking the law.

Outlets which do not make any checks on the age of the young people are likely to be prosecuted.


Communities want to be able to enjoy their evenings without drunken behaviour and acts of damage

Superintendent David Burgess

Bill Jags, head of Trading Standards at Dorset County Council said: "We will not be sending 17-year-olds who look 21 into pubs to catch people out.

"This is only to make sure businesspeople are acting responsibly."

He said business premises which failed to make any checks on the age of the young people were likely to be prosecuted.

Superintendent David Burgess, from Dorset Police, said: "The majority of licensees are fully aware of their responsibilities and comply with the law.

"Communities want to be able to enjoy their evenings without drunken behaviour and acts of damage reducing their quality of life.

"Parents have an important part to play and they should ensure that they are aware what their children are doing. "

The exercise is a joint venture between Dorset Police and trading standards departments at Bournemouth Borough Council, Borough of Poole Council, and Dorset County Council.


Click here to go to Southampton
See also:

08 Apr 02 | Health
Alarm over teenage binge drinking
29 Mar 01 | Health
Drink firms 'target the young'
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