Rum initiative going down the wrong road, warns Roland-Bowen

A newly launched initiative by the state-run Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA), which encourages wider use and consumption of Barbadian rum among locals and visitors, has attracted stern criticism from President of the Barbados Road Safety Association Sharmane Roland-Bowen.

The initiative, launched earlier this week at the historic Sunbury Plantation and dubbed Barbados Sugar and Rum Season, also seeks to sensitize owners of restaurants, bars and nightclubs to the story of rum and its value to the economy, as well as to enhance the island’s cultural heritage and culinary tourism product.

However, an incensed Roland-Bowen complained Thursday that the new programme flies directly in the face of her organization’s efforts to stop people from drinking and driving.

In fact, she argued that it was a promotion of drink driving on the part of the tourism authorities, despite the fact that there was still no specific legislation to deter such, or any breathalyzer testing in place.

“We are inviting tourists to our country to part take in our rum that we say is so good, yet they [the authorities] are not providing any provision to keep them safe on our roads and that is not right,” Roland-Bowen told Barbados TODAY.

“It is wrong. Are we inviting them to get injured and get killed on our roads? It is wrong,” she insisted.

“We have a high number of tourists that come here and are accustomed to safety in their country and we are bringing them here into our country where we are promoting all this alcohol drinking and driving, because that is more or less what I see. We are promoting drinking and driving in Barbados because if we are not doing something about it we are with it and all for it. This is wrong,” the road safety advocate added.

Just last month the BRSA launched its War on Drunk Driving campaign in the hope of reducing alcohol consumption by vehicle operators. And while she did not have any statistical evidence to present, Roland-Bowen was convinced that alcohol consumption was a factor in many instances.

She had also revealed findings of a recent survey carried out among a small group of tourists which indicated that more than half of them did not feel safe on the island’s roads. However, she said based on those results none appeared to be put off by the likelihood of the island introducing breathalyzer testing and the accompanying legislation.

“What are they waiting for, for more people to die and more blood to be shed on our roads? It is wrong, it is wrong,” said Roland-Bowen at the time.

As part of the campaign, the BRSA has written to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Minister of Transport & Works Michael Lashley, Minister of Health John Boyce and Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite as the first targets of an official lobbying effort.

Today, Roland-Bowen said Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy would be next in line, in light of the launch of the Barbados Sugar and Rum Season.

12 Responses to Rum initiative going down the wrong road, warns Roland-Bowen

  1. Hal Austin February 10, 2017 at 4:38 am

    We need a legal definition of Barbadian (Bajan) rum.

  2. MIIB February 10, 2017 at 6:37 am

    Alcohol plays a monumental role in criminal activities and violence. Yet they encourage lewdness, drink white rum out of a topsy and wine, gyrate and dry hump each other and call it our culture. Excessive drinking has the ability to lower inhibitions, impair a person’s judgement and increase the risk of aggressive behaviours. This is proven not by our scientist but by European PHD’s and Doctorates as we ignore our own for favour of Caucus as they are always right. Because of this, alcohol-related violence and crime rates are on the rise throughout Barbados and Caricom. If Alcohol was to be discovered today it would be classed as deadly as Heroin. Tobacco followed by Alcohol is the biggest killer.

    Where is the quantitive and qualitative statistics on alcohol related crime, don’t hide it. Tell us the truth, we can search but statistics are easily fiddled with for performance but the number is so great you can’t hide it. Tell us and provide the statistics on Robbery, Sexual Assault, Aggravated Assault, GBH, Affray, Traffic Collisions (Fatal/Non-Fatal), Domestic Violence which is on the increase, Child Abuse, Homicide etc…..need I go on.

    Because alcohol use is legal and pervasive, it plays a particularly strong role in the relationship to crime and other social problems. Publish statistical evidence as for some seeing is believing. Yet we have Sir Henry who is an educated man talking about E cigarette when he holds degrees in Pharmacology. The biggest threat as simple and docile as it is to the society in terms on judicial and medical is alcohol yet he choose to talk about E cigarettes. Go figure….

    We are so colonised and make believe cosmopolitan that if the UK does not defecate we can’t swallow……with our so called faux par independence.

    How many in treatment for alcohol and how many in treatment for cannabis. If you are offered a fine or imprisonment and provided with a choice of treatment or jail which would you choose. We cannot continue to be left behind as other Caricom states have been taken concentrated steps to capture patents and enable medical marijuana as the push for the plant is at an all time high. Canasol and Asmasol amongst many others and again Barbados is behind due to prehistoric dinosaurs at the helm interested in their asset worth and their cronies. As all is the same.

    The same Caucus that enabled laws that locked us up for a plant now clambering and breaking off the doors of our countries to get at it. smh when will we learn….

    Maybe its me, you know us uneducated people from the block, please read the article and detract the complexity of the author and the message. Alcohol Prohibition was a failure and so in time you will see our Government as Pope Paul as they are back track when given guidance as they depend on Massa to decide and influence our policies and procedures/laws and legislations.


  3. hcalndre February 10, 2017 at 6:58 am

    For a long time I heard that should barbados implement the Breathalyzer testing into law that would slow the sale of their rum especially by the visitors.

  4. Jennifer February 10, 2017 at 8:07 am

    @MIIB – “We are so colonized and make believe cosmopolitan that if the UK does not defecate we can’t swallow……with our so called faux par independence”.

    BRING IT OUT, this is what we need, some more people to hit the nail on the head. We ain’t no African if not we would do what they do, even dress so. We are a replica of our oppressor (little britain) in each an every way, only thing we have melanin (sun block). If they PI$$ we swallow. Education and laws strait from the Caucasus.

  5. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn February 10, 2017 at 8:48 am

    The rich people like rum and the ghetto people like marijuana.That is why they putting you in jail for marijuana . They want people to stop smoking marijuana and Drink more rum. Also the state collect Taxes from RUM . You could preach from now until the world come to an end no government is going to listen to you. So stop wasting time .This rum was here from centuries ago, Rum company pass on from Generation to generation. You think that some body is going to listened to you. Mom stop wasting precious time.

  6. Helicopter(8P) February 10, 2017 at 10:26 am

    It is historically known that rum is used in a wide range from what I am gathering in my mind; is Barbadian consumers have only one inclination towards that spirit, and that is for it to be consumed as a gluttonous alcoholic beverage which in turn brings about stupor. We as a country have got a good source of Information technology and that coverage is enormous on such alcoholic substances and their side effects and disease causing to the general population. Rum is just another spirit which should be labeled with its warnings and limitations by consumption. Each one has to exercise conscience and good measure while participating in alcoholic beverages. “Do not drink and drive”! Has been in the media for over fifty years it’s not recent. What Barbadians need to do is utilize the local taxi services when participating in functions which serve alcohol on a casual basis.

  7. Anne Ince
    Anne Ince February 10, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Rum drinking is part of the culture. Can’t stop it…ijs. Focus on adequate lighting of highways and slowing down of youngsters driving like lunatics…

  8. Peter February 10, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Jennifer. Speak for yourself. Your pattern of communication clearly identifies the FACT that you have failed significantly in all your attempts at personal upward progression. Everything you blame on whites. You then condemns blacks who follow white influenced progress. You speak English. You use a knife and fork You wear clothing You read books. All a legacy of the white man. Get real woman. There are lots of things YOU CANNOT CHANGE. So live with it and accept it. You seem to be calling for a black revolution of some sort. Look. Trump has proven that In the USA, Whites rule. Hillary was running on the legacy of a successful BLACK president. Furthermore they are NOT ready for a WOMAN president. Who do you think owns most of those coconut trees that the local fellows get their nuts? Not BLACK PEOPLE. instead, encourage them to approach Mr. Paul as a united coconut water vendors Association and import whole, uncut, unprocessed, Fresh coconuts at BDS$ 50 cents landed and cut it themselves and even use certain parts to produce bi-products. In the phillipines and Malaysia, fellows are carving coconuts to look like the head of Donald Trump and are selling them as souvenir artifacts for get this… US$ 100.00 each.

  9. jrsmith February 10, 2017 at 11:07 am

    What is all the fuss about , comments about rum in barbados is only because rum is made in Barbados, although the company is foreign own..
    Rum , guns and drugs , show us the figures .. lots of people drink rum but they dont get stupidly drunk..and the same goes for drugs both given highs and is dangerous……
    Guns is more control , because if you dont load the gun and pull the trigger nothing happens , yet all of this is making lots of us lead frightening lives………
    Our real problem ,we need to deploy and enforce the simple technologies which are used in the (USA,Canada and the UK ) these countries bajans live , work and visit and abide by the said laws , which they would be totally against if they were applied in barbados , but would only bother if they themselves were effected by any of the unlawful practices……………..

  10. Ferreira Claude
    Ferreira Claude February 10, 2017 at 11:22 am

    I believe the BTPA should also promote road safety as a package in collaboration with the various agencies and our police should be equip with breathalyzers.

  11. Smiley February 10, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    People’s choice of alcohol be it Bajan rum ,gin or brandy is not to be blamed for all the road accidents in the country but I can argue that Alcohol abuse destroys the family, My father was a great example of it .He came home regularly cussing swaggering and demanding that we get to hell out of his house .No money left to feed us after paying for his friends drinks and fighting with our mother .Well finally she got some guts and left the drunken abuser ,we grew up without a father,he died alone friendless and poor.The Rum took our place but we buried him out of obligation and no tears.How long must you stare at the wine…..and wake up saying when can I get another drink? The lives it affects are too many.Quit while you are ahead,you’re better than that.

  12. Clarion February 10, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    I cannot imagine a more damnable thought than encouraging your people to imbibe more ETOH. This is a poison which makes the liver work overtime until it’s Halas…lights out. Pitiable. No wonder two plus two hardly ever make four anymore. Death to the brain!


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