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Forum held on responsible drinking



THE University of The Bahamas partnered with Commonwealth Brewery Limited (CBL) to host an open forum on responsible drinking yesterday.

With the formation of UB’s newest department, First Year Experience, which falls under the division of the Student Affairs Department, this event represented the aim and future initiatives of the department.

Nyisha Tilus, first year experience and programme manager, said events like this will assist UB in enforcing positive behaviour for students in and outside of the classroom.

“For us, we want to be able to use this time to ensure that we are enforcing the positive behaviours we want to see and ensuring that they’re being responsible even when it comes to alcohol consumption,” she said.

“We have so many different events and programmes that we offer here at the University of The Bahamas, and alcohol is sometimes present, so we want to ensure that we are enforcing and reinforcing the need to be responsible when you do drink.”

The panelist for this event included chief superintendent David Lockhart, chief of police and security at UB Solomon Cash, assistant superintendent Leonardo Burrows, Heineken brand manager Michaela Munnings, student government representative Chante’ Deal, UB’s campus police Quinton Bethel, and emergency medical technician Richardo Woodside.

As one of the panelists, Royal Bahamas Police Forde chief superintendent David Lockhart, spoke to the challenges police frequently face in regard to motorists driving under the influence.

“In its present state if you were to be stopped on the road, an officer would have to get your consent to be able to take a urine sample or blood sample from you to determine whether you are under the influence of alcohol,” he said.

“So, that makes our job a little bit difficult because if you don’t consent then I can’t determine if you are under the influence of alcohol,” he added.

Mr Lockhart said the Road Traffic Act was amended in 2016, to give police the authority to arrest motorists who are presumed to be under the influence. However, the law has not been gazetted.

When asked how this collaboration came about, Kendria Ferguson, corporate relations and sustainability manager of CBL, said UB has been a long-standing partner and it is their mandate to have public campaigns for responsible consumption.

As the distributor of Heineken, CBL highlighted the recent launch of Heineken’s non-alcoholic beer, Heineken 0.0 at the forum.

“It’s the same great taste but its non-alcoholic, so it’s a great option for people who do not want to indulge in alcoholic beverages, but it’s also an option to know that if I do have to go behind the wheel, I have a non-alcoholic version to enjoy prior to getting on the roadway,” Ms Ferguson said.