Now more than ever it seems young people in WA are being faced with alcohol related problems stemming from binge drinking. Teenagers are drinking with the intent to get drunk and are starting at an even younger age than ever before. We are living in a society where young people have more freedom than ever before, more money than ever before and more access to alcohol and drugs than ever before which is part of the problem.
Parents have been identified as one of the key contributors to teenagers drinking behaviour. Children often mimic the behaviour they see in their parents and some parents believe it is better to provide their children and their friends with alcohol rather than have them drinking on the sly.
But now adults in Western Australia could soon be facing charges for supplying alcohol to minors if a new bill introduced by WA Labour is passed. The bill relates to the supply of alcohol to a minor on unlicensed premises. The law would make it illegal to provide a youth with alcohol without their parent/guardian’s consent. It is different from current law under which it is illegal for young people under 18 years of age to purchase alcohol at licensed premises.
This post on Bunburymail.com.au explains:
Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray said this week that the Opposition introduced the Liquor Control Amendment Bill to protect children from consuming alcohol on unlicensed premises, such as private parties.
The bill, if passed, would make illegal the supply of alcohol to a juvenile on unlicensed premises.
The law would also force a person to obtain the juvenile’s parent or guardian’s permission to supply liquor to that juvenile on unlicensed premises.
“Existing laws make it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 years to purchase alcohol at licensed premises,” Mr Murray said.
“However, no laws currently exist to prevent a person over the age of 18 from supplying alcohol to a juvenile on unlicensed premises, such as at a house party.
“We need to close the loopholes that give children access to alcohol, often without their parents’ consent.”
Mr Murray said the Opposition wanted to make people who supplied alcohol to minors accountable for their actions.
“They will place the onus on parents and guardians to be responsible, to ensure their children and those children in their care, drink responsibly or not at all.”
Experts suggest that parents of teenagers abide by a few rules when it comes to alcohol:
- Talk with teenagers about the family’s history of alcohol or drug use. There’s a genetic component to alcoholism and teens should know if they’re at greater risk of problems.
- Give your children one-on-one time with the doctor so that they can learn about the physical effect alcohol may be having on their bodies from a professional rather than just from a “nagging” parent.
- Set a firm policy: No alcohol, drugs, or tobacco until the legal drinking age of 18.
- Never host a teenage party with drugs or alcohol. The liability is potentially enormous if one of those kids goes out and kills himself or others and who would want that on their conscience, not to mention the effect that would have on your teen.
- Show your kids how to use alcohol responsibly by example – you can have a beer or two but don’t get drunk.