Monday, April 30, 2007

Banning Kids From Drinking

Okay, so if the title reads like that, then it sounds perfectly reasonable to the casual reader that children should indeed not be drinking alcohol. If it was re-worded to the more contentious "Nanny State Rides Again" then you might get a different set of opinions.

Basically, a one-issue group has issued an ultimatum to the Government that children should not be allowed to drink alcohol AT ALL before the age of 15. It may come as a surprise that they're allowed to anyway, but as long as the alcohol is purchased by an adult, children as young as 5 are legally allowed to consume booze.

This is normally done in their home and under parental supervision - such as having watered down wine with dinner - but can take place in bars or restaurants where food is served (although then there is a specific list of what alcohol can be consumed).

If Alcohol Concern's message really is one of trying to curb underage drinking, shouldn't they be actually encouraging parents to introduce small amounts of alcohol into their children's lives from an early age, rather than the teenager suddenly trying to drink their own body weight in booze the second they get hold of it illegally?

I've spent a lot of time in States where drinking before the age of 21 is illegal, and it makes the allure of alcohol all the more appealing. If Alcohol Concern manage to persuade our Nanny Government that this should become law, the demon drink (and I do accept that there are a LOT of problems associated with it) will be in higher demand among pre-teens than it is at present.

"What do you mean I can't have any? I didn't want any before, but now you've taken it away from me, I'm desperate for some!"

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