11 Jul 2007

Groups question value of alcohol prohibition in American Samoa

11:57 am on 11 July 2007

Social service agencies in American Samoa are questioning a proposed bill that would prohibit all people under 21 from consuming alcohol.

The bill's aim is to stop drinking by children and break a link between alcohol abuse and crime.

The assistant director at Catholic Social Services, Taleo Sitama, says underage drinking is a big problem, but the bill won't make much difference.

"Anybody who is under 21 is not allowed to buy alcohol, but that is not stopping the young people from drinking. They use much older friends to buy the alcohol for them. I'd rather see more awareness programmes, rather than passing another legislation. because as it is, there is already a law but it is not working."

Taleo Sitama of Catholic Social Services in American Samoa.

Faaalu Iuli from the child protective services agrees, and says the authorities won't be able to police underage drinking.