Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, says training in responsible selling and serving of alcohol needs to be made mandatory for all staff and licence holders who serve alcohol without delay.
Alcohol Action Ireland Director Fiona Ryan said: “Alcohol is a licenced product – selling alcohol is not the same as selling milk or orange juice and, as such, the selling and serving of alcohol brings with it a particular set of responsibilities.
“Standardised Responsible Serving of Alcohol (RSA) programmes need to be made mandatory for all those whose work involves selling and serving alcohol without delay.
“The participation of all staff and licence holders in RSA programmes needs to become a condition attached to the granting and renewal of licences to sell alcohol.
Ms Ryan added: “Binge drinking brings its own set of risks to the drinker and to those around them.
“Alcohol is a factor is one in four traumatic brain injuries. Added to that, more than one in four of those attending accident and emergency departments have alcohol”‘related injuries, almost half of which occurred to people aged under 30 years.
“Unfortunately, Ireland is one of those countries where binge drinking is not the exception but the norm. In 2010 – according to the latest, provisional, figures – the average Irish person aged 15 years and over drank 11.9 litres of pure alcohol, which is the equivalent of about 44 bottles of vodka, 470 pints or 124 bottles of wine.
“Over half of all Irish drinkers drink in a way that damages their health – that’s 4 in 10 women and 7 in 10 men who drink. It’s time to get real about how much we drink and the way we drink.”
For further information or comment contact:
Alcohol Action Ireland Communications Officer Cathy Gray (01) 878 0610/ 087 995 0186