One of the most serious cases of irresponsible alcohol service is serving alcohol to teenagers. Teenagers are not emotionally and physically mature enough to handle the ramifications of drinking alcohol.
One case that demonstrates this was posted in The Dailyliberal.com.au. Recently a teenage driver was caught endangering lives by drinking and driving. The police conducted a random breath test on the young man and found his blood alcohol level was too high. This is what the report had to say:
AN 18-YEAR-OLD man who was caught drink driving after taking his girlfriend to hospital has appeared in Dubbo Local Court.
Elliott Thomas Sanders and his partner were travelling in a Holden Rodeo that was stopped by police for a random breath test on Fitzroy Street shortly before 3am on May 26 this year.
Sanders was charged with mid-range drink-driving and had his licence suspended on the spot after registering a blood alcohol reading of 0.098.
Sanders’ solicitor told the court Sanders and his girlfriend had been celebrating at her place the night before when she fell over and cut her arm, an injury for which she received six stitches at Dubbo Base Hospital.
He said Sanders later accepted he should have contacted his father to drive them to hospital but decided against it because his father had just been released from hospital.
The prosecution pointed out that it was on the way back from hospital, not on the way there, that Sanders was stopped, meaning that it “changed things somewhat” in terms of the urgency to get to hospital for treatment, and a taxi would have been a viable option.
Magistrate Andrew Eckhold took into account that since Sanders had been charged he had completed a traffic offenders’ program and several references had been tendered to the court to suggest he was of ‘good character’.
But he said Sanders had made a ‘bad error of judgment’.
“You are at the start of your adult life, but you are an adult with adult responsibilities, and mid-range drink-driving exposes you to endangering other people,” he said.
“I hope you have taken the opportunity to learn something from the traffic offenders’ program, and that you will spread the message to your friends about some of the (bad) consequences that you have seen can result from drink driving.”
Magistrate Eckhold sentenced Sanders to a two-year good behavior bond without conviction and he was also ordered to pay $83 in court costs.
Although this driver was 18, statistics recently revealed that 90% of Australian youth had tried alcohol by the age of 14. The risk of serving alcohol to underage drinkers goes far beyond the legal ramifications for the server. Alcohol consumption by teenagers can have dangerous and far reaching consequences.
Under Responsible Service of Alcohol law serving alcohol to minors carries major fines for workers, management and owners of establishments, but the real cost of serving teenagers are the social consequences, such as teenage drink driving, teenage pregnancy and teenage violence.
While parents play the biggest role in influencing teenagers, peer pressure is also a major cause of drinking. Parents can’t prevent their teenagers from experimenting with alcohol, but they can encourage sensible drinking habits and display a good example for their children to follow.
Those in a position to serve alcohol to underage minors need to be aware of the ramifications of their actions not only for themselves for the teenagers involved. Serving alcohol to a teen may affect the rest of their life or cut it short, so be responsible rather than their friend – it could save their life.
But teenagers are not the only ones who are drinking behind the wheel. Police have caught a 21 year old woman also guilty of drinking and driving among a host of other offences.
Police had this to say on their website:
ACT Policing will charge a 21-year-old Phillip woman with drink-driving, driving with licence suspended, furious/reckless driving and failing to stop when requested by police after a pursuit in Weston early this morning.
Police on patrol in Streeton Drive around 4.20am today (Friday, July 13) attempted a traffic stop on a white Mitsubishi Lancer sedan for the purposes of conducting a roadside screening test on the driver.
The driver failed to stop and a pursuit commenced through Phillip and Mawson. The driver finally stopped in Wilkins St, Mawson, where she refused a roadside screening test and was conveyed to Woden Police Station. She later returned a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.122.
The pursuit had lasted four and a half minutes, with alleged offender reaching a highest speed of 140km/h.
Posted by Peter Cutforth