Hyderabad: For minors, buying alcohol is as easy as buying chai

Hyderabad: For minors in the city, in spite of the legal age for consuming alcohol being 21, it is not a very tough task to get their hands on alcohol. With fake IDs, co-operative adults or a little luck, those below 21 years of age can easily buy booze from different places. Some even tamper with their own ID cards.

“I modified my own Aadhar card using an editing software. I changed my year of birth to show that i was above the age limit,” said Ritesh (name changed) a student from Hyderabad. He added that using this ‘modified’ ID proof, he was able to enter many bars and drink alcohol.

Aside from tampering with ID cards, or creating new ones, It is also very easy to buy alcohol from local wine shops in Hyderabad, according to teens. These establishments display the age limit, but fail to ask customers to prove their age when buying alcohol. In peak hours, sellers are too busy trying to keep up with the huge throngs of buyers, and in less-busy times, they simply do not care enough to verify ID.

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A 19-year-old from the city says that he could enter many high-budget bars, and that no one generally asks him for age proof. “Perhaps it is also because I look old,” he opined, and added that that may not necessarily be a reason for not getting checked at alcohol-serving establishments.

Plenty of small wine shops in Hyderabad also sell alcohol to minors knowing their ages, other students from Hyderabad also told Siasat.com. “For a small restaurant near my college, students are the majority of customers. None of us are above the age limit, but we get alcohol every time we go there,” said a teen who did not want to be named.

It gets even easier for teens to drink alcohol in Hyderabad if they befriend a seller or pay extra in secret deals, he added. And what does a teen do if their ID has been found out to be fake? “I go to another establishment and try my luck there. Eventually somebody will be willing to sell alcohol,” said Mahesh (name changed).

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