LIFT OFF: National Day celebrations about to get underway

GIBRALTAR National Day is without a doubt the biggest party on the Rock, and this year’s is bound to be the biggest yet.

Often referred to as ‘Lash-ional day’ as thousands of locals traditionally get very merry, this year’s party coincides with the 50th anniversary of the UK independence referendum, in which the people of Gibraltar voted overwhelmingly to remain British.

In light of this, the government has launched a drink awareness campaign to warn of the dangers of binge drinking.

A government statement said: “While some side effects may be minor and only last temporarily, others can cause permanent damage or have far reaching consequences to both users and those around them.

“To this effect the Drug and Alcohol Services have produced a poster with the theme ‘Drink Responsibly’ which is being distributed by the Royal Gibraltar Police, who are visiting all licenced premises to remind them of their responsibilities in respect of under-age drinking.

“To reinforce this, officers of the Royal Gibraltar Police and the Drug and Alcohol Awareness Services will be delivering presentations to pupils at both Comprehensive Schools. Additionally the Royal Gibraltar Police has embarked on a campaign to remind road users about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol.”

The statement added: “It is a criminal offence under Gibraltar law for a person to sell or procure alcohol for a person under the age of 18 years.

“The only exceptions are for persons aged 16 or 17 years, who are able to consume beer, wine or cider for consumption on licensed premises or if the alcoholic drink is procured under the supervision of a person over 18 who has the parental responsibility or consent of a parent.

“The Government recognises that the vast majority of individuals will participate in this day in a civic and responsible manner, in-keeping with the spirit of the celebrations, and would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone in our community a happy and safe National Day.”