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Last Updated: Monday, 2 June 2008, 15:39 GMT 16:39 UK
Teenage binge drinking targeted
By Greg Dawson
Newsbeat politics reporter

Alcopops
Parents will be given guidelines on how much children should consume

It's the problem even the government admit has got out of control - teenagers binge drinking on the streets.

New figures show youth drinkers are starting younger and drinking more.

Now ministers have come up with new plans to tackle the problem in England. Newsbeat has been to Bristol to find out what people there think.

One of the main measures the government wants to bring in is a new offence making it illegal for someone under 18 to be regularly caught in possession of alcohol.

Behaviour contracts

Young people will be made to sign "acceptable behaviour contracts" admitting they've done something wrong and promising not to do it again.

If that fails they could eventually be hit with an ASBO.

Gemma is an underage drinker. She didn't think the measures would put her off alcohol.

Signing a piece of paper promising not to do it again won't have any effect
Sarah

"I'll drink anything really," she said. "Alcopops, vodka, anything really."

"I don't think teenagers will listen to any of this new stuff. They're too stubborn to listen. It's not a proper punishment, it's just signing a piece of paper."

Sarah and Kate are friends. They both enjoy drinking Vodka and alcopops.

Tough on parents

Sarah agreed the new plans wouldn't put her off drinking booze: "People aren't going to listen to it.

"They can't catch everyone can they? Signing a piece of paper promising not to do it again won't have any effect. They will still break it. People break promises."

Man passed out in the street
Off licence's face a "two strikes" rule on selling alcohol to children

One of the other main plans is to clamp down on parents who let their children drink in public.

They could be sent to parenting classes or may even face prosecution.

Karlene is the stepmother of a 16 year old and a 17 year old.

'Out of my hands'

She agreed parents should face punishment for their children's action: "I think it's fair," she said.

"I wouldn't want someone to say to me 'I've seen your child drunk all over the place in the street' so I would do my best to prevent that from happening.

"At the end of the day, who's in charge of the child? The community, the government or the parents?"

Not everyone agrees - Barry looks after a 17 year old.

He said: "If he's out on the street or on his own it's out of my hands isn't it?

"I can't follow him around and look after him all the time. I think it's wrong. I don't think it should be the responsibility of the parents.

"If your kids are out drinking you can't follow them around all the time."



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