Netherlands wants to fine under-age drinkers

In a bid to combat the problem of teen drinking, the Dutch cabinet approved a bill Friday proposing that under-16s caught consuming alcohol in public can be fined.

"Research has shown that too much alcohol causes serious damage to the brains and other organs of young people," Prime Minister Mark Rutte told journalists in The Hague after the weekly cabinet meeting.

He said the cabinet had agreed to send the bill to parliament for approval.

In a press statement, the cabinet said it should become punishable for children under 16 to have alcohol on their person in public places like train stations, shopping centres, cafes and bars, or on the street.

"The cabinet wants children to bear more responsibility for compliance with the age restriction" that makes it illegal to sell alcohol to children under 16 and hard liquor to under-18s.

Annette Dijkstra, a spokeswoman for the ministry of public health, told AFP the bill states that a fine can be imposed but the amount "has yet to be determined".

Research published last December by the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos) and the University of Utrecht, found that nearly one third of pupils in the final year of primary school (11- to 12-year-olds) have consumed alcohol.

Nearly half of 16-year-olds have been drunk, said the report.

Of all the children interviewed for the study, 12 percent of boys and seven percent of girls who drank in the previous month reported having consumed more than 10 glasses on one day.

"Children are drinking more, more often, at an ever younger age, according to the study.

The latest report of the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs, said the volume of alcohol consumed by Dutch teenagers was "somewhat above average".

Trimbos spokeswoman Anke Wammes told AFP the institute was against the "criminalisation" envisaged in the bill "because it will lead to massive round-ups of young people".

"Instead of merely a fine, we would like to see an approach where a child is brought to a professional for a discussion that also involves his or her parents."

The World Health Organisation warned Friday that too few countries were taking steps to prevent alcohol abuse and raised alarm bells over major increases in alcohol consumption in Africa and Asia.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

    £40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

    Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

    £26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

    £17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

    Day In a Page

    Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

    ‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

    Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

    ... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
    12 best olive oils

    Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

    Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back