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Underage secret shoppers buy more booze

More underage drinkers were able to buy beer, wine and spirits in Swiss shops in 2008 than in the previous year, a nationwide health report reveals.

The Federal Health Office said on Monday that underage test shoppers managed to buy alcohol 35.6 per cent of the time. That is up from 27.7 per cent in 2007.

The age limit for buying beer and wine in Switzerland is 16 and 18 for spirits.

The Health Office and the Swiss Alcohol Board commissioned a study that sent young people into shops to buy alcohol 2,131 times. That is nearly double as many attempts as in 2007.

Roughly 40 per cent of young buyers were asked for ID, 30 per cent were asked about their age and the remaining 30 per cent managed to buy alcohol without any questions being asked.

The study found that regularly conducting such secret tests can reduce the rate in which underage drinkers are able to buy alcohol.

Cantons Bern, Zurich and Basel City have performed the tests for several years and showed that underage purchases in 2008 were completed about 25 per cent of the time. and agencies


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