JDW boss: Under-18s drinking in pubs could help to stop binge drinking

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Controversial: the JDW boss is well-known for his outspoken views
Controversial: the JDW boss is well-known for his outspoken views

Related tags Legal drinking age Drinking culture

JDW boss Tim Martin has said 16 and 17-year-olds being able to legally drink in pubs could help prevent binge drinking.

He explained it is better for those approaching the legal drinking age to drink in a “supervised environment” rather than somewhere that isn’t supervised.

He added: “Most people feel that it is better for people to start drinking in the company of adults in a place which is a supervised environment, like a pub, than to start drinking at teenage parties.


“Though there isn’t a panacea for binge drinking, I think people drinking in good pubs has been a civilising influence.

“A dozen years ago, everyone [who is now] over the age of 35, including policemen, judges and MPs, started drinking in pubs when they were 16.

Martin told The Morning Advertiser ​different groups of customers meeting in pubs can bring people together.

He said: “Drinking in pubs has been important in breaking down the social barriers over the centuries and I think if young people get out of the habit of going to the pubs, it would have a negative impact on profits and social occasions.”


The JDW chairman is well-known for his controversial beliefs and accused EU leaders of “bullying” the UK​ following the country’s decision to leave the union.

Shortly after the Brexit outcome of the EU referendum was announced, Martin led the celebrations of ‘Leave’ campaigners in the industry​ and hailed the results as a day that would ‘enhance freedom and security’.

However, Martin became a hot topic for something other than Brexit in September after he announced the pubco would be offering staff on zero-hours contracts the opportunity to work guaranteed hours


Should 16 and 17-year-olds be allowed to drink legally in pubs?

  • Yes

  • No


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