Delhi High Court Wants Written & Pictorial Warnings On Liquor Bottles

Have you seen that repulsive picture and warning quote on cigarette packs? Well, get ready to see something similar on liquor bottles as well. While we are not sure whether the warning will be equally graphic or not, the Delhi High Court is probing to know the position of the Centre and the Delhi governments, and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on a petition that proposed putting written and pictorial warnings on liquor bottles to warn people against the risks of consuming alcohol and drunken driving.

The petition was filed by a non-government organization Community Against Drunken Driving (CADD) through its founder Prince Singhal, who also suggested increasing the size of the existing health and safety warning. Further, the organization also advised the authorities “to mandate all alcohol producers, manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, sellers, etc., nationwide to print in large font the dangers of consuming alcohol and driving”.

In addition to suggesting the increase in size, CADD alleged that the governments had “failed to devise a national policy prescribing the size of the statutory warning to be printed on liquor bottles, points-of-sale or other appropriate locations to motivate citizens to making informed decisions and abstain from consumption of alcohol and driving” and “in most cases the statutory warning are deliberately inscribed in a minuscule and illegible font”.

Image: The Guardian (representational image)

Speaking about the issue, the NGO said, “It’s no secret that excess alcohol consumption is a social problem that needs to be tackled, besides excess alcohol consumption resulting in higher percentage of drinking and driving.”

CADD also shared statistics from a survey conducted by it to show that of all cases of drunken driving “only 6.94% were stopped and prosecuted by the police”. “The survey also identified a drinking pattern in Delhi. As many as 49.6% men and 42.3% women respondents claimed to have had their first drink before or at the age of 13 years,” it said, further adding that pictorial health warnings are one of the most effective ways to inform people of the harmful effects of alcohol and tobacco. Especially with people with low literacy or no formal education.