Time for youth to step up

Saturday 14 May 2011, 8:17AM

The Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC) has backed the police call for young people to help change the 'drink to get drunk' culture which is prevalent on both sides of the Tasman.

ALAC Chief Executive Officer Gerard Vaughan said this weekend’s Operation Unite - a joint exercise by Australian and New Zealand Police - was also a good opportunity for adults to consider what steps they could take to ensure young people avoid alcohol related harm.

New Zealand Police are planning a high visibility weekend of education and enforcement action with a focus on youth.

“New Zealand as a whole has a binge drinking culture; it’s not just a youth problem. However, many young people have not unexpectedly, embraced that culture,” Mr Vaughan said. “This weekend’s activities are an opportunity to put the spotlight on that culture and encourage young people to step up and take a leadership role in ensuring they and their mates keep safe around alcohol.”

Mr Vaughan said adults, parents, guardians and retailers also needed to be responsible about who they gave or sold alcohol to.

“The main suppliers of alcohol to minors are parents and they need to ensure that if they are going to give their children alcohol, they consider the quantity they are supplying, where it is going to be drunk, is there adult supervision and how are their children getting home.”