Online poll: Opinions split on drinking age

About as many respondents to last week’s online poll want the drinking age to increase as those who want it to stay the same or go down. 

Of the 735 total respondents, the largest segment of respondents – 312 people or 42.5 per cent – think the drinking age in Cayman should remain at 18. 

“If you are old enough to vote, you should be considered old enough to drink,” said one person. “Raising the age won’t stop teenagers from drinking.” 

“Raising the drinking age to 21 has not benefitted the US, so I doubt it will do anything positive for Cayman,” said someone else. “Furthermore, if the drinking age was raised, it would bring additional hardship to the local bars, clubs and restaurants already suffering due to the current economical strains.”  

“Raising the age higher than 18 will only make one more law the police cannot enforce and the bar owners are unwilling to enforce,” said someone else. 

One respondent said that in countries in Europe where children enjoy a small glass of wine with family meals, alcoholism is less of a problem. 

“When children are kept away from alcohol until they are 21, underage drinking becomes a real problem as does binge drinking,” the respondent said. “It is far better to introduce children to alcohol at an early age, get them used to it and not think it is some secret thing which they then don’t know how to handle when they are older.” 

Slightly fewer respondents – 295 or 40.1 per cent – thought the drinking age should be raised to 21. 

“Cayman has a serious alcohol problem,” said one person. “Fights in nightclub parking lots most weekends and alcohol-fuelled car wrecks are just some of the resulting fallout that affects us all. It’s time to raise the drinking age.” 

“People are more mature are at age 21 and would make better decisions for their future,” said someone else. 

“Alcohol is a mind-altering drug, so not before 21 years,” said another respondent. “People need time to learn to interact socially and drive well before they drink.” 

Another 46 people – 6.3 per cent – thought the drinking age should be raised, but only to age 19, like parts of Canada. 

“Of course, if the bar owners and retail owners don’t obey the law and sell to underage people and the police do nothing about it, what difference does it make?” asked one person. 

Forty-seven people – 6.4 per cent – thought the Cayman Islands should be a dry country and no one should be allowed to drink. 

“I believe it would be wiser if we were a dry country,” said one person. 

Twenty-eight people – 3.8 per cent – said since people can marry here at the age of 16, they should be able to drink at that age. 

“The legal marriage age needs to be changed to 18 rather than reduce the legal drinking age,” said one person. 

Seven people responded ‘other’ to the question. 

“It doesn’t matter,” commented one person. “Youngsters are drinking already at a tender age.” “The age should be 17 years old,” said another person.  

“A man who drives when he is drunk should carry his coffin in his trunk – words of Will T. Bodden,” commented someone else. 


Next week’s poll question 

What do you think is the best way to deal with the high price of electricity in the Cayman Islands? 

Nothing; it’s fine the way it is 

Implement energy conservation practices 

Go off the grid and do without electricity 

The country should use alternative energy sources like solar, wind or waste to energy 

Create an oil refinery here to reduce CUC’s fuel costs 

Other (write in comments) 

To participate in this poll, please visit 



  1. Is drinking really a problem on the Island? Never seemed that way to me. I would suggest that a clamp down on drink driving would not go a miss though, very relaxed attitude to it by the expats and the locals.

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