I recently found an interesting story that parallels the situation we are currently faced with in O, regarding underage drinking. A hidden camera investigation was carried out in a Canadian restaurant which revealed that underage drinking is a problem in that country as well. Australia is not the only country battling to come to a solution to the woes that result from teenage drinking and more specifically the serving of alcohol to minors.
The hidden cameras revealed that a number of establishments are selling alcohol to minors and perhaps a similar approach can be implemented in problem areas in Oz to root out the guilty parties.
This post on Cbc.ca explains in more detail
In the investigation, a group composed of three 18-year-olds and one 17-year-old was sent to four establishments. The CBC asked the three males and one female to order alcohol, but not to drink it if they were served. Provincial laws prohibit anyone under 19 years old from being served or sold liquor.
All four teens went together to Ebisu restaurant on Robson Street in Vancouver where they ordered a pitcher of beer and were served within minutes of sitting down.
The same night, the Keg Steakhouse & Bar on Still Creek Avenue in Burnaby served red wine to two of the 18-year-olds, who went in as a couple. Another Keg waitress served beer to the two other teens who were sitting in the bar area.All four left their drinks untouched and later left.
Outside the restaurant afterwards, the teens offered their own theories about why they were served.
“It was just really casual,” said Jack Hu, 17. “I guess [the server] just thought we were older.”
Aidan Ponton, 18, said he suspected the waitress sympathized with them.
“I guess she just saw us, just some younger kids and she knew what it was like, she’d been in that position before and she didn’t hesitate,” Ponton said.
These four teens checked out four restaurants in a CBC investigation. (CBC)
Ben Roberts, 18, saw a monetary motive.”They are making money off of it, a lot of money and I don’t think that’s their main priority to obey the law.”
“[If] your employer’s not forcing you to ID then you’re not going to,” said 18-year-old Katherine Gillard.
When later confronted with the results of the CBC News investigation, the management at Ebisu said they were shocked and embarrassed and promised to be more vigilant in checking identification.
A Keg spokesperson admitted its servers did not follow procedures and the restaurant chain will now redouble its training.
In Canada similar to Oz, there are hefty fines for selling alcohol to minors which doesn’t seem to be enough of a deterrent to sellers. In Canada the penalty for a first offence ranges from $7,500 to $10,000 (Canadian) or a 10-to-15- day licence suspension. Licensees can either accept the penalty or request an enforcement hearing.
The incident in Canada has resulted in the restaurant assuring that it will increase the training of its staff. However in Australian responsible service of alcohol training is mandatory for every person serving or selling alcohol.
One of the biggest benefits of RSA training is that it teaches you to serve alcohol in a manner that maintains the good reputation of the establishment. Ensuring that you do not suffer the consequences that come from serving alcohol to unduly intoxicated patrons or minors means that you will enjoy a pleasant working environment and be confident that each time you go to work you will be safe rather than being exposed to alcohol fuelled violence.