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Spain considers fining parents of underage drinkers

PUBLISHED: June 10, 2013 at 11:57 am  •  LAST EDITED: June 11, 2013 at 9:34 am
Andalucia, Lead2  •  3 Comments

Spain considers fining parents of underage drinkers

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PARENTS of youngsters that repeatedly end up in hospital emergency rooms due to alcohol poisoning could soon face financial penalties.

The new proposal is designed to tackle the lack of care shown by parents of underage drinkers rather than to punish the minors themselves.

“Tolerating or assisting by inaction the repeated excessive consumption of alcohol is a form of abuse toward the minor, because it affects their future abilities,” said Francisco Babín, the government delegate for the National Drugs Plan (PND)

“We must not forget that alcohol kills neurons.”

The ministry is considering the inclusion of financial penalties in its draft Prevention of the Consumption of Alcoholic Drinks by Minors bill, which will be announced in April.

A report being studied by the Health ministry recently revealed that the number of underage drinkers being treated in casualty departments across Spain has more than doubled in the past decade.

“The age of those patients is also decreasing, indicating that recreational drinking of alcohol is starting at a younger age,” wrote Dr Santiago Mintegi, the author of the report.

“Before, it was rare to find a case of alcohol poisoning among minors, but not now. Such cases arrive fairly frequently on a Friday and Saturday night.”

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June 11th, 2013 5:49 am

Perhaps the change is due to Spanish families no longer being allowed to introduce their children to alcohol in small quantities from an early age?

When children are prohibited anything, it gains immediate credibility as something they MUST have, whereas when they are educated to respect things, and duly warned of their dangers, they lose the need to grab the forbidden substance as soon as they can illicitly get it.

Stuart Crawford

June 11th, 2013 9:23 am

This is’nt a Spanish problem, it’s Europe wide. Parents have lost control for some time and if they try to regain it they risk seeing the police at their door.


June 11th, 2013 3:36 pm

John: Would your scheme work with heroin? Do you think a little bit of that early on, along with “education” make the kids treat an equally addictive, destructive substance, with respect?
Booze and nicotine are the western drugs of choice and they are pushed at the population from all sides. Some parents can’t get their kids to attend school and are sometimes even sent to jail for that. As soon as the rascals are out of sight, the’ll do as they please. It’s no good penalising the parents.

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