Alarming statistics released this week shine a light on just how easy it is for underage drinkers in the UK to get their hands on alcoholic drinks. Due to this, Police forces are calling for a debate on how parents should be held responsible for properly enforcing the UK's minimum drinking age of 18.
Following surprising statistics released this week concerning teenagers and alcohol, the Police are calling for a debate into parental responsibility and teenage drinking. According to the statistics which were taken in the seaside resort of Newquay Cornwall, more than 70% of the teenagers stopped by the police reported that the alcohol had been given to them by their parents. When the police force reported the teenagers to their parents, they found their responses tended to be abusive, and often they were accused of denying their sons and daughters fun. Although there are strict laws in the UK around underage drinking it seems they are being taken very lightly.
Strict UK laws restricting underage drinking
The under-age drinking laws in the UK are often taken for granted more often than not we do not always comprehend the real reason why they were put in place in the first place. It is felt strongly by medical practitioners and professional therapists working in the field of alcoholism that alcohol taken too early in a Childs life can cause damage, spiritually, emotionally and physically. In the early teens the young mind is still attempting to get a strong grasp of the environment – excess alcohol distorts this reality. Also if the young person starts to rely on alcohol at an early age they will fail to build the tools to deal with life’s issues and traumas. Thirdly and perhaps most importantly, as the child is still growing alcohol can actually damage the body physically while it is still maturing.
The law states that a child over the age of 5 can only drink alcohol in their home environment or other private premises. Children can not buy or drink alcohol from public places until they are 18. The only exception to this is 16 and 17 year olds who can legally drink alcohol in a restaurant or part of a pub that serves food. However they must be accompanied by the person who will actually buy the drinks.
Startling accessibility to drink and anti-social behaviour
Officers confiscated more than 6,000 bottles and cans of alcoholic drink. One group of four boys from Bristol arrived with more than 100 alcoholic drinks between them. More than 100 people were banned from entering Newquay town centre for causing anti-social behaviour. This is clearly a blatant disregard for the laws in the UK. Both parents and children alike appear to push boundaries because they have become distanced to the real reason these laws were put in place originally.