Law em­pow­ers par­ents

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

NEW laws to negate the sup­ply of al­co­hol to chil­dren should help de­ter un­der­age drink­ing and em­power par­ents, the WA branch of the Aus­tralian Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion (AMA) says.

As of Novem­ber 20, peo­ple face a $10,000 fine if they sup­ply al­co­hol to a ju­ve­nile in a pri­vate set­ting with­out first seek­ing con­sent from the child’s par­ents.

AMA WA pres­i­dent Michael Gannon said the changes were wel­comed, con­sid­er­ing un­der­age drinkers are more likely to get al­co­hol from a friend or par­ent.

“Par­ents are en­ti­tled to think that when their teenage child goes to a friend’s house or party, they are not go­ing to get drunk,” he said.

“This law gives par­ents some much needed peace of mind that their child will not con­sume any al­co­hol with­out their ex­plicit con­sent.”

Dr Gannon said while it was un­for­tu­nate such a se­ri­ous de­ter­rent was needed, “our drink­ing cul­ture has nor­malised al­co­hol consumptio­n”.

He said more than 600 teens are ad­mit­ted to emer­gency de­part­ments with al­co­hol-re­lated in­juries ev­ery year.

“While un­der­age drink­ing rates have dropped over the last decade, far too many young Aus­tralians are get­ting hos­pi­talised from al­co­hol re­lated in­juries,” he said.

“We urge all par­ents to se­ri­ously re­think ex­pos­ing their chil­dren to al­co­hol be­fore the age of 18.

“There is a grow­ing body of ev­i­dence prov­ing the vul­ner­a­bil­ity of the hu­man brain to the toxic ef­fects of al­co­hol into our 20s.”

Rac­ing and Gam­ing Min­is­ter Colin Holt said the laws were not about reach­ing in­side the home, but more about tack­ling those dis­re­gard­ing the wishes of other par­ents

“There are al­ready laws pre­vent­ing peo­ple sup­ply­ing al­co­hol to un­der 18s in pub­lic places, in­clud­ing li­censed venues,” he said.

“Sec­ondary sup­ply laws are de­signed to be com­plaint-driven and pre­vent any­one pro­vid­ing al­co­hol to un­der 18s with­out parental per­mis­sion in a pri­vate set­ting.”

AMA WA pres­i­dent Michael Gannon.

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