Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Teen Drinking Falls

Recently the “protect us all from ourselves” brigade and health fascists have done their best to ensure teenage drinking becomes a cause of major concern.

Earlier this year, the partially State Funded (via UK Department of Health) UK charity Alcohol Concern was calling for parents who taught their children how to handle alcohol moderately at home to be prosecuted.

A subsequent study confirmed the common sense view, finding that those who drank with parental supervision were in fact less likely to engage in binge drinking.

Now it seems that fewer underage teenagers are drinking regularly – due, at least in part, according to a Trading Standards survey, to more effective enforcement of the perfectly adequate existing sales regulations.

The survey found that nearly half of those who said they drank alcohol did so at home under parental supervision, or at family functions.

So it seems we may not, after all, need a plethora of new poorly drafted and ill conceived legislation making specific offences of, say - anyone under the age of three to purchase Polish Lager on a Wednesday after 4 pm with a personal cheque signed in green ink, whilst wearing red socks and carrying a copy of A Tale of Two Cities. Then there would be the offence of Aggravated purchase before 4 pm on Wednesdays…

The survey indicated the proportion of those aged between14 and 17 buying alcohol dropped by 12% to 28%. Those who said they drank regularly (that is at least once a week) fell from by 6% to 44% and those who never drink alcohol at all has risen by 5% in the last two years to 17%

Director of the Centre for Public Health, Professor Mark Bellis, said: "It is very positive that we have seen such a dramatic drop in kids buying their own alcohol.”

Unfortunately over 7% polled said they had been in a car (presumably actually being driven, as opposed to having subsequently regretted sex in the back seats) with a young person who had been drinking, and around 6% said they had regretted having sex while drunk. Given the age range involved 14 - 17 the majority of those polled should not be driving, drunk or sober.

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