20 Sep 2007

American Samoa Senate looks at new measures to combat underage drinking

10:18 am on 20 September 2007

Legislation aimed at strengthening laws against underage drinking will be reviewed at a hearing tomorrow in the American Samoa Senate.

The measure was submitted by District Court Judge John Ward, who told lawmakers early this year that early abuse of alcohol by children greatly increases the chances that by age 30 they will be either an alcoholic or an illegal drug addict.

The measure directly addresses his concerns by raising the drinking age in the

territory to 21 years of age as well as regulating drinking in public and commercial areas.

Justice Ward has told the Fono the problem currently presents a major law enforcement problem and is related to the bulk of juvenile delinquency cases and youthful offender criminal cases being filed in court."