Teens to be used in battle against underage drinking
TEENAGERS are to be deployed by the gardai in a crackdown on the sale of alcohol to underage customers.
Gardai have been given the power to use the youngsters to test-purchase alcohol in various outlets, particularly off-licences.
Details of the crackdown were revealed last night as Junior Cert students recovered from a traditional night out on the town after receiving their results. But gardai said there were no major public order problems.
Legislation to allow the test-purchasing was introduced two years ago.
The measures could not be put into action until guidelines on how they should be implemented were drawn up, in consultation with the Garda Commissioner and the Minister for Health and Children.
They provide for a minor, acting on the instructions of the gardai, to attempt to purchase alcohol in a licensed premises.
The guidelines have now been finalised and the legislation can be enforced.
The measures will be introduced initially in a pilot scheme -- expected to be given the go-ahead next week -- and will then be rolled out nationwide.
Staff training is also being initiated in the coming days.