Crackdown call for drink crimes

A CALL for an increase in the mandatory minimum fine and jail term for people who buy alcohol for people under the age of 18 was made yesterday by a Killarney anti-substance abuse group.

The Killarney Drugs Liaison Committee also called for a national advertising campaign to “stigmatise” such people.

Television, radio and billboards should be used in the campaign, according to the committee, which has representatives from voluntary and statutory organisations.

Committee chairman Councillor Tom Doherty said all outlets selling alcohol should be obliged to erect notices in prominent places on their premises outlining fines and jail sentences for anyone purchasing alcohol for minors.

In a 10-point submission to the Review Commission on the Sale and Consumption of Alcohol, the committee also called for a reduction in the number of outlets where alcohol can be sold and suggested supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol stations should be allowed sell wine only.

Mr Doherty also said they felt a hard-hitting education programme was needed to encourage over-18s to drink alcohol responsibly.

“The programme aimed at altering the drinking culture should be similar in form to the drink-driving advertisements,” he added.

“This educational programme should also target a small but significant number of parents who aid and even encourage their children to consume alcohol.”

The committee also called for an end to special exemption orders that allow longer opening hours and sought earlier nightclub closing.

Gardaí in Tralee have succeeded in getting nightclubs in the town closed a half-hour earlier than usual and say street disorder has decreased by almost 10% as a result.

The committee runs a mobile classroom that visits primary schools informing pupils of the dangers of substance abuse.

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