It's a drug, you see. It's lethal to young bodies, so not a drop should ever be allowed to pass their lips until it's magically less dangerous on their 18th birthday.
That's why local authorities are always on the lookout for big, strong 17 year olds, who look like rugby players, to send out to unsuspecting businesses and try to catch them out.
With penalties so high, a trader who is caught serving alcohol to a minor can potentially suffer catastrophic financial hardship. He could even lose his business as a result. And rightly so, eh? How dare they facilitate the risk of a minor possibly getting drunk.
So what happens in this situation then?
Youngsters recruited to catch pubs serving underage drinkers "ended up blotto" according to the Daily Star. A Doncaster Council spokesman is quoted: "Unfortunately on viewing our own camera footage taken on the evening, it can be seen that the volunteers took it upon themselves to drink some of the alcohol. This is not in accordance with the briefing given prior to their test purchase."I take it a crippling fine will be applied to the council officer responsible for allowing this to happen? Perhaps their livelihood will be threatened with a P45.
Nah, thought not.