Singapore Licensed Alcohol Industry
The Singapore Licensed Alcohol Industry is charged with observing the definition of alcohol and classification of alcohol beverages.
Alcoholic beverages contain mixtures of diluted alcohol, as taking pure alcohol can be harmful. Legislative definition of alcohol is important so that it sets the limit for concentration and defines to which drinks they apply. The definition of alcohols by the Global Status report is the beverages that contain alcohol in the range of 0.1 to 12 percent and above.
Alcohol beverages are classified as in
- Fermented spirits
These are spirits produced by the fermentation process and without distillation. Ethanol concentration should be less than 15 by volume.
- Distilled spirits
These are spirits produced through the distillation process or a mixture with non-distilled spirits with ethanol concentration more than 15 by volume.
The Singapore Licensed Alcohol Industry should also put the alcohol problem in perspective. Negative effects of alcohol are well known and excessive consumption of alcohol impairs judgment. Drunken persons are advised not to operate machinery.
Health complications of alcohol consumption are liver and kidney ailments.
Alcohol consumption also leads to personality and behavioral changes and can lead to problems such as crime, accidents, family conflicts and other social ills.
Alcohol also has some positive aspects such cultural heritage. Social activities and some festivals are organized with alcohol as the main theme such as the Oktoberfest.
It is accepted that moderate drinking does not cause problems to the drinker and to the society. It gives a sense of wellbeing when it is not abused and has some health benefits on the cardiovascular system.
Excessive consumption of alcohol raises concern and people demand that the government enacts alcohol policies to curb its excessive consumption. This is because the decision to drink excessively leads to harms and costs borne not only by the drinker himself but also by other people and the society too.
Alcohol cannot be banned from consumption in many parts of the world, Singapore included. The main issue is how to live with it harmoniously. There should be a balance in the presence of alcohol in the society.
There are diverse views on the role of the government to deal with consumption of alcohol by its citizens. Alcohol policy therefore has to come to play in many alcohol regulatory bodies such as government, and The Singapore Licensed Alcohol Industry abides by the regulations. Alcohol control policy comes in various types such as taxation, age limit, alcohol availability and its consumption.
It is evident that alcohol policy can help alleviate some of the alcohol related problems in the society and thus reducing harm that would have otherwise resulted. The main objective of an alcohol policy is to control the supply and demand of alcohol to appropriate levels. This reduces alcohol’s burden to the society and promotes public health.
The major tools of an alcohol policy can be classified as either regulatory measures or taxation.
Alcohol production, distribution and consumption needs to be regulated to uphold law and order in the society. Excessive consumption of alcohol has negative effects to the consumer and to the society. Therefore, regulatory bodies such as governments must regulate it and The Singapore Licensed Alcohol Industry has to abide by the regulations. They should promote alcohol consumption patterns that are acceptable to the society and minimize costs arising from misuse of alcohol.
This is the strongest measure that a regulatory body can undertake. This is however a move that is unrealistic especially where there are no persuasive religious, cultural or moral beliefs. Alcohol sale is a major source of revenue to many states thus a ban on it would mean loss of revenue to the state. Many countries of Islam faith have imposed a ban on alcohol and some issue drinking licenses to people of proven good conduct. However, since it is evident that excessive alcohol consumption has a cost to the consumer and to the society and there has to be regulations to its consumption. Most states allow consumption of alcohol but under placed legal restrictions.
This involves control of the production, supply of alcohol and sale of alcohol.
A regulatory body can adopt full control, partial control or no control to alcohol consumption. This can be done through licensing of the production, distribution and sale of alcohol. Government control through state monopoly is not a common practice. Some countries control the time when alcohol should be sold to the citizens, mostly after work hours.
Most regulatory bodies prohibit the sale of alcohol to underage persons. An age limit is set most commonly at 17 and 18 years to prevent young people from suffering adverse effects of alcohol at tender ages. This is effective in Singapore since law enforcement culture is observed. Some groups still lobby for the raising of the drinking age to prevent the young people from drinking too much alcohol. A good example is of the college student who died of alcohol poisoning in Singapore. An older drinker would have known there was a problem with the alcohol.
Alcohol impairs judgment and drunken people should be forbidden from driving or operating machinery. An alcohol limit is set which drivers should not exceed and it is ensured through random alcohol tests. This regulation yields good results since the drunk driving can be fatal or cause chaos on the roads.
This is one of the major ways of controlling alcohol consumption and its related problems. This is justified based on the following facts; alcohol consumption leads to negative externalities and taxation helps to curb such externalities. Alcohol demand is highly inelastic and thus tax imposition on it would be of minimal economic damage. Taxation on alcohol generates a good amount of revenue to the state. This becomes an effective way to control alcohol consumption. Tax makes the cost of alcohol rise and thus its demand reduces. Heavy drinkers end up reducing the amount of alcohol they consume. Logically, when alcohol becomes expensive the takers will reduce the intake and thus solve of the alcohol related problems (Somchai Richupan, Ph.D.PresidentSiam Development InstituteBangkok, Thailand, 2005)
(World Health Organization,Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse,Geneva, 2004)
The various members of the Singapore Licensed Alcohol Industry, these are the producers, wholesalers, retailers and other businesses that promote the sale and consumption of alcohol are not responsible for the actions of their customers.
As the name states, the alcohol industry is licensed by the state. This is after a test to ensure that the contents are potent and non-harmful. Alcohol in Singapore is not banned like other drugs because its consumption can be controlled and lead to no harm. The producer to consumer chain is therefore law abiding if they produce, distribute and sell the alcohol within the law restrictions. The consumer should bear the responsibility of ensuring that he or she consumes the alcohol within the law restrictions and does not cause harm or disturbance to him or her as well as the society. It is a matter of everyone ensuring responsibility for moderate alcohol consumption.
There is no problem at all when alcohol is bought at will by a person of legal drinking age and taken moderately, not excessively. When one takes alcohol excessively and carries him or herself with low decorum, it is by will and the seller of the drink is not to be blamed. Using an analogy of when one buys a car, the way in which he car is used is dependent on the owner of the car. If the car is driven carelessly in such a way that it causes an accident, the car selling company is never blamed unless the car had a design fault. In the same way, the seller of the alcohol or the producer should not be put to task for the ill behavior of the consumers.
It is also known to all alcohol consumers of the restrictions of drinking. For example, the drivers, drivers are people who are of age and they are aware of the limit of alcohol when they are supposed to drive. With this full knowledge, they should observe such restrictions and their failure to do so should not be blamed upon the alcohol sellers or producers. The driver should be dealt with by the law for breaking the law.
Alcohol consumption does not cause madness and so immoral conducts should not be blamed on the alcohol. However, it should be consumed by a consenting person and by will. Production of alcohol should also be within regulations that ensure that the alcohol is not harmful to the consumer. Misbehaving in public due to excessive consumption of alcohol should be blamed upon the individual and not to alcohol production to retail chain.
Alcohol is sometimes blamed instead of lack of discipline. A man who loses his family due to alcohol related problems has lack of discipline. It is logical that at the end of the day, one should first take care of mandatory responsibilities before directing any resources to alcohol drinking. That is discipline. A person who misuses all resources through alcohol consumption lacks discipline, even if the alcohol was not available and there was another alternative for satisfaction of the individual, the person would still follow it and end up spending on it. Thus, alcohol sale should not be blamed for the behavior of the consumers.
All alcohols are well labeled as a requirement by law. They contain the name, the name of the manufacturer, ingredients, the alcohol percentage and a warning message on the danger of excessive alcohol consumption. As all other products, a consumer should read all the writings on the packaging of the product and decide whether or not to consume the product and to what limits. Excessive consumption is to the drinker’s peril as the packaging already gave all the information and a warning message.
Another example is the statistical number of accidents caused by drunk drivers. One can easily tell a drunk driver on the road by bad driving habits such as dangerous swerving and speeding. The driver should be personally held responsible for the mistake since he or she knows it is wrong to drive under the influence of alcohol. We also see how drunken performers behave on stage. There have been cases where celebrities have urinated on fans from the stage or even stripping to very skimpy kind of attire. The personality and not the alcohol should be held responsible.
The retailers should be fair enough to advice a customer to stop drinking for the day when he or she is so drunk. They should actually not sell alcohol to an already drunk person. When an already drunk person continues to drink, he or she continues to lose control of him or herself. The sellers of alcohol should also ensure that they do not sell alcohol to underage persons. When an age limit is set, it is set for a reason. Young people can easily overdrink, as they cannot easily tell the limit of losing control of themselves. The sellers should also remember that selling of alcohol to underage persons is illegal. Advertisement of the alcohol products should also be done in a non-provocative way and should bear the message that excessive consumption of alcohol is harmful to health and impairs judgment (World Health Organisation, 2011)
Somchai Richupan, Ph.D.PresidentSiam Development InstituteBangkok, Thailand. (2005, February 7th). from ALCOHOL PRODUCTS TAXATION: INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCESAND SELECTED PRACTICES IN ASIA:
World Health Organisation. (2011). Retrieved November 6th, 2013, from Addressing the harmful use of alcohol
World Health Organization,Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse,Geneva. (2004). Retrieved November 6th, 2013, from Global Status Report:Alcohol policy: