Solution To Aussie Teen Binge Drinking Problem

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It has become apparent that binge drinking amongst our teens is becoming a big problem. The Government’s first reaction was to raise the tax on alcopop drinks which naturally caused some angst amongst the young drinkers as well as the venues supplying the drinks. Todays paper actually had the Australian Hotels Association say that evidence exists that the increased tax is causing young people to turn to drugs as the more expensive alcopops come inline with marijuana and the ecstasy pill. If this is true then it doesn’t say much for the mental capacity of our youth.

While the increased tax raises more revenue for our money hungry Government it does not solve the problem. The police are also proposing 3 am lockout to curb violence and drunkenness on our streets but the problem with both methods is that it targets the wankers as well as those who act responsibly.

I propose a plan that begins with a 6 month advertising campaign that will include TV, radio and the print media. It will also include the Education Department targeting students from primary to tertiary levels about the ills of binge drinking. Naturally all this will fall on deaf ears unless there is a consequence for their behaviour. The young of today are no different than those of the past as they seem to be born with a “bullet proof” mentality that no wrong can ever befall them.

I suggest that the majority of them would have high aspirations for their life with a good career in mind. Mo proposal is that the police patrol these problem areas picking up the young and disorderly. They will be taken to the local police station a processed and then forced to attend an anti-drink seminar which will reinforce the advertising campaign. On the first offense a strike will be recorded against their name. Once they have obtained three strikes they will be officially charged and Fined!

This is where the crux of the campaign comes in, as amongst all the related problems associated with drinking will be the the one that should have the greatest deterrent factor as it will affect their lives now and not in 20 years time when they may develop drink related disease or when the may kill someone through drink driving. They have to realize that there are legal consequences to having a charge recorded against their name. It will affect their future as many occupations are closed to those with a criminal record. These include those who are aspiring to become a engineer, dentist, doctor, lawyer, architect, child care, aged care, teacher or many other professions. There are also many other employers who will check to see if applicants have a criminal record before hiring them.

It can even affect them outside of Australia as counties such as the US can refuse to give them a visa if you have a criminal record! This has to be drummed down their throat so that they realize the consequence of their actions. Yes perhaps it is a bit draconian, but if we do not act now it will only get worse and pussy footing around just does not provide results.


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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Mitch

    Wow, that’s a tough one, and a tough stance. I agree with the education, but I’m not sure I agree with arresting the kids and giving them three strikes like that. Drunk and disorderly here is a misdemeanor, and making it a felony, which is what it would be here based on what you said, would fall under cruel and inhuman punishment, mainly because that’s something they do to themselves, and not to anyone else. Now, the curfew idea has merit, but 3AM seems, well, a bit lenient for the truly young; having a curfew against anyone who’s considered an adult in your country is unduly punitive and probably wouldn’t stand up to the courts.

    Still, you’ve started a dialogue on it all, so who knows where it may take you.

  2. BS Artist

    Mitch, some of these binge drinkers are as young as 12 years old. Also when arresting these kids, they will be released once they have been processed. Parents will naturally be notified and they will be responsible for their kids action as making sure it does not happen again.

    The stance needs to be tough as a lot of these kids are ruining their own lives as well as costing the community a fortune.

    As for the the three strikes, they would have to be pretty bloody dumb to let it get that far. You would think that getter picked up by the police in the first place would scare the majority into conforming. The second offense should entice a few more to tread the right path. The third offense, well they had their chance and would have to be pretty stupid to have let it get to that stage in the first place.

  3. Mitch

    I guess we just see it differently, though, as I said, I understand. The laws would have to drastically change here, because criminal records for kids are expunged once they turn 18 unless it’s for murder or sexual assault, so the threat of anything longer would have to pass a major challenge. As for people learning lessons, I’ve learned that when it comes to drugs or alcohol, those things do the thinking for people.

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  4. BS Artist

    Many of the kids are not yet addicted to either but may be just experimenting due to peer pressure. I would hope that this would scare them off before any bad habits were developed. I am sure it could be fine tuned and there are those more capable than I to implement any future changes.

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