Charity warns retailers not to sell drink to celebrating teenagers

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

As students prepare to celebrate their Junior Certificate results, a strong plea has been made to alcohol retailers not to sell drink to underage people.

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, is also urging parents and students themselves to “make a who, what, where, when, how” plan ahead of tonight ’s celebrations.

According to charity director Fiona Ryan, 84% of teenagers said they had no problem getting alcohol.

“Cheap, widely-available alcohol where a young person can get drunk for  €10 is not helping the situation either and we know that young people are highly aware of price-based special promotions,” she said.

One quarter of 15 and 16-year- olds had bought alcohol from an off-licence or supermarket, while 37% had been served in a pub or nightclub.

“There is a real and immediate obligation on alcohol retailers  — pubs, nightclubs, supermarkets and off-licences  — to ensure that they are not selling alcohol to underage drinkers,” said Ms Ryan.

Some teenagers might feel they have to drink to celebrate, even though they may not want to, and others might be pressured to do so, she also pointed out.

“It is important to remind teenagers that  ‘not everybody is doing it ’ and support teenagers not to drink; half of teenagers do drink regularly but half don ’t,” said Ms Ryan

She asked parents and teens to sit down together and make a plan for the celebrations.

Meanwhile, the Killarney Drugs Liaison Committee has advised parents to encourage healthy behaviour and to be aware of where their children are and who they are with.

A spokesman also said parents should be familiar with their teenagers ’ haunts and should be at home to meet them when they return from celebrations.

“It ’s also well to remember that the longer young people delay smoking and drinking, the less likely they are to use illegal drugs,” he said.