The Victorian Government has introduced legislation (The Liquor Control Reform Amendment Bill 2011) that will assist parents to restrict children from accessing alcohol though a loophole in the law. Currently it is not an offence to supply alcohol to minors in a private home, even if they are not your own children. This was initially designed to allow parents to provide a drink to their own children, but statistics show we have a growing problem with youth and alcohol.
The Victorian Drug and Alcohol Prevention Council's 2009 Victorian youth alcohol and drug survey found that 84 per cent of 16 and 17-year-olds had consumed alcohol. Thirty-one per cent had consumed 20 or more standard drinks in any one day at least once in the past 12 months. In addition, more than half the young people surveyed indicate they usually obtained alcohol at a friend’s house.
This Bill, which fulfils an election promise by the Coalition Government, brings Victoria into line with NSW. It is due to be further debated at the next sitting of Parliament on 5th April. It is hoped that it will gain the support of all parties. We have all seen the TV commercials warning against the supply of alcohol to young people. The evidence is clear that alcohol harms the development of their brain function.
This sensible law will help parents control or mange the way their children are exposed to alcohol. They will no longer be able to get away with going to a friend’s place and drinking to get around parental control. The fine? Up to 60 penalty units or $7167.00. This ought to make even the most irresponsible adult think twice about providing alcohol to other people’s children.
Here we see the educative, restraining and leadership effect of good legislation.