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Draft Law Would Create a Drinking Age of 21

A bar tender pours beer for customers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, file photo.

The Ministry of Health is in the process of drafting a law to better control alcohol consumption, with the number of drinkers increasing among the young.

The new law would ban sales of alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 and would impose higher taxes on alcohol sales. Health authorities say the government should also require alcohol vendors to obtain liquor licenses.

Authorities say they hope an age requirement will help young people make better decisions on drinking, which can lead to poor individual health, domestic violence and traffic accidents, among other woes.

“The age of 21 is enough for them to understand the difficulties derived from alcohol consumption,” Health Minister Mam Bunheng told VOA Khmer. The age limit “is a way of educating our youth to change their attitudes and reduce alcohol consumption.”