25 Jul 2006

Underage drinking a serious problem in American Samoa

6:14 am on 25 July 2006

American Samoa's Governor has called on the community to unite in the fight against underage drinking and urged parents to talk to their children about this serious problem.

The law says the drinking age in American Samoa is 21 and stores are prohibited from selling alcohol and beer to anyone under 21.

However, the governor Togiola Tulafono said on his weekend radio program that police reports every year are showing an increase of teenagers consuming alcohol.

He said some adults are sending kids to buy beer, and these adults take the law lightly.

He said in the long run, these children will get into the habit of buying beer, and that they will get hooked on buying and drinking beer.

Earlier this year, a District Court Judge urged lawmakers to enact laws to address underage drinking, citing a surge of young people coming before the court for drunk driving and public intoxication.