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Last Updated: Friday, 27 April 2007, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
Child drink ban 'a step too far'
Youth drinking
Alcohol Concern wants to tackle a rise in under-age drinking
Calls to prosecute parents who give children under the age of 15 alcohol at home are a step too far, according to a leading Scottish charity.

English charity Alcohol Concern wants a toughening of the law south of the border to tackle under-age drinking.

But Alcohol Focus Scotland fears that putting alcohol completely out of bounds could make it more tempting.

The charity favours the continental approach of educating children's palates responsibly.

The voluntary organisation claims this could help change Scotland's drinking culture by encouraging respect for alcohol.

HAVE YOUR SAY
I think most of us would agree that giving a glass of wine to an under 15 with their meal is certain to turn them into a binge drinker
Tim Farrell, Glasgow

Alcohol Concern expressed its views in a report on the UK Government's Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy.

The English charity wants parents who give alcohol to children aged under 15 to be prosecuted, and wants the ban to include meal times at home.

It has carried out a study which suggests there has been a steep rise in alcohol consumption among children, especially girls, over the past six years.

But Alcohol Focus Scotland chief executive Jack Law said it did not have an issue with parents giving a child a "very, very" small amount of alcohol in the right context, such as a dinner party.

"This is about responsible parenting," he said. "What is important is that adults understand the facts and the issues affecting alcohol.

"People obviously enjoy drinking but they need to do it in a responsible fashion and show children how to drink responsibly."

Mr Law also questioned how such a ban would be enforced.

Meanwhile, a supermarket chain is to stop selling alcohol to people who look under 25 unless they can produce ID.

Asda is introducing the trial scheme at a number of Scottish stores.


SEE ALSO
'Wine was always on the table'
27 Apr 07 |  South of Scotland
Pupils give MSPs alcohol evidence
30 Oct 06 |  Glasgow and West
Warning over toll of drunk teens
17 Aug 06 |  Scotland
Warning over drink peer pressure
14 Aug 06 |  Scotland

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