By Deborah Condon
Parents are becoming increasingly tolerant of underage drinking, making the problem even more widespread, a new Irish study has found.
According to the study, 'Underage drinking in Ireland: A study of Bray, a representative area', 83% of the public support the view that the problem of underage drinking is worsening. While over half of those working in the drinks retail trade also share this view.
The year-long study was carried out by Mark Morgan, a social psychologist at St Patrick's College, Drumcondra, Dublin.
According to Mr Morgan, parents still have a major influence on their children's behaviour, therefore parental tolerance of underage drinking only worsens the problem.
The study recommends the introduction of mandatory ID cards and the abolition of the £5 charge for the current Garda ID cards.
Once again "underage" drinking is targetted, rather than irresponsible drinking in general. A 16 year old having a glass of wine at a wedding is seen as a problem, while a 20 year old throwing up in the street, or a 45 year old destroying the lives of his family, is not. It is the adults in our society who need to do the growing up.
I am disgusted at shops who sell drink to underage children. Not only are the shop owners to blame, but the staff who sell to underage drinkers without the owners knowledge. I want new strict laws like america. There are severe penalties over there for selling to underage drinkers. Alcohol should only be sold in off-licences and not centra's or spar's or newsagents ect.. Ever since everywhere was allowed to sell alchohol there has been serious problems with underage drinkers. The kids are not the problem, it's stupid and greedy adults. Friends selling to friends and managers and owners making a quick buck (and incompetent parents). I'm not against kids having the odd drink! We all did when we were kids, but not to the extent it is now, sure we never had the money! It's a national disgrace - this binge drinking. This country is slowly decaying. The problem with this country is there is no sense of protest. Everyone talks about it and does nothing. I ask everyone who reads this, that if you see alcohol being sold to underage drinkers, say something to the off-licence owners and inform the guards. That's what I do and if more people did it, we wouldn't have such a problem. When you stop questioning and stop trying to change things, you might as well roll over and die and lot of people in this country need to decide.
Unfortunately I don't need a study to tell me that underage drinking is worsening. I live near a pub that regularly serves people under 18. The result is loud abusive, idiotic, destructive behaviour with no regard to people who live in the area. I know people over 18 can behave terribly too but not to the extent to what we regularly see here. I don't agree with Fionah...who is probably under 18 herself, who seems to think that a 20 year old and 45 year old abusing alcohol is not viewed as a problem..each is a separate issue dealt with in different ways and in no way is considered less or more of an important issue.....please grow up Fionah
In criticising Fionah with her 'please grow up' bri repeats the ungoing error of patronising and criticising youth from 16-25. Wheter Bri be underage or not a 16 year old is more than capable of airing views acceptable for discussion. On this point Bri also completely ignores or more likely is a know-it-all who is actually intirely ignorant of the mass of research information from the continential countries supporting a lower drinking ager and also the problems encountered in the U.S. by the very restrictive drinking age. No matter what precautions we take we will never eradicate the desire to wlak on the wild side, break the rules and try something new that is children's first experience of drinking. Rather we need to educate our children to a far greater degree regarding alcohol as on the continent. These childre's views need to be appreciated for a proper system of education in this respect to be formed not put down and patronised as Bri would like. I think it is actually time that you Bri start growing up and facing reality. Your draconian views are outdated and unwanted
It is easy to criticise teenagers.The statistics this whole forum is based, are not even published.The problem does not lie with parents,it does not lie with the shops,its lies with the law.In countries in Europe such as Germany the age is 16.This country has less drunk and disordely charges and teaches teenagers to drink responisbly.Teenagers will always drink,its part of growing up.The problem is showing them how to drink responsibly.If someone were to jump right into drinking at the age of 18 or 21 they would not know how to drink and would cause more trouble than a person who had been drinking from such an age of 16.I am not some immature fool,i have seen the problems first hand and i have seen the way to resolve it.Laws should be brought in so that at 16 with parental backing,a teenager may be allowed to drink in Pubs.My view on the issue.