The NSW Police Force is largely involved in reducing the inappropriate supply of alcohol. However to address alcohol misuse police also have an important role to play reducing the demand for alcohol as well as the harms experienced by individuals who drink excessively.
Your Choice program
Your Choice is a NSW Police Force alcohol diversion program aimed at persons under the age of 18 years. Rather than pursuing formal legal processes for incidents involving intoxication and/or the illegal possession or consumption of alcohol, police can issue the young person with a referral to the Your Choice program. The Your Choice program seeks to challenge perceptions about underage drinking and excessive consumption of alcohol and to educate young people about the health, legal and social consequences of drinking. It also aims to enhance the capacity of parents/guardians to influence their child’s behaviour and attitudes towards drinking.
Your Choice is a prevention strategy with the long-term objective of assisting young people to take responsibility for their inappropriate and harmful consumption of alcohol leading, ultimately, to a reduction in the incidence and extent of heavy episodic drinking and associated harmful behaviours.
The program operates as a two hour face to face education seminar, which the young person attends with their parent or guardian. The Your Choice education sessions are designed and run by police, with the assistance of expert drug and alcohol workers. The program provides young people and their parents/guardians with strategies to avoid risks and keep safe by developing better attitudes and behaviours around alcohol.
It is also available as a 30 minute online education program. Parents are encouraged to visit the website to increase their awareness of underage drinking risks and the role they play in minimising those risks.
Alcohol and Young People
- In Australia alcohol is a key factor in the three leading causes of death among adolescents; unintentional injury, homicide and suicide.
- In 2012, young people aged 16-24 years of age were around twice as likely as the general population to drink at very high levels on a single occasion.
- For young people aged 18-24 years of age, the rate of emergency department presentations for acute alcohol problems was 54% higher in 2012 than in 2003.
- The rate of interpersonal violence hospitalisations in 15-24 year old males were around four times that of females in the same age group.
As well as the serious and obvious health consequences of excessive drinking, alcohol places the drinker and those around them at considerable risk of harm. Alcohol use, particularly excessive use can increase young people's risk of becoming a victim and / or an offender of alcohol related crime, often violent crime such as sexual assault, physical assault, robbery, driving accidents, violence and antisocial behaviour offences.
Liquor Laws and under 18s
- the age of the minor
- whether the person supplying the alcohol is intoxicated
- whether the minor is consuming the liquor with food
- whether the minors consumption of liquor is being responsibly supervised by the person supplying the liquor
- the quantity of liquor and the period of time over which it is supplied
The supply of alcohol to a child who is intoxicated is not, in any circumstance, consistent with the responsible supervision of a minor.
Alcohol and Road Safety
- Zero alcohol limit for all:
- Learner drivers or riders
- Provisional 1 drivers or riders
- Provisional 2 drivers or riders
- Visiting drivers or riders holding an overseas or interstate learner, provisional or equivalent licence
- Under 0.02 applies to:
- Drivers of vehicles of "gross vehicle mass" greater than 13.9 tonnes
- Drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous goods
- Drivers of public vehicles such as taxi or bus drivers
- Under 0.05 applies to:
- All other licences (including overseas and interstate licence holders) not subject to a 0.02 or zero limit
- Under 0.05 is the legal limit for most drivers
Safe transport options
Alcohol - Reducing the Risks
Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks From Drinking Alcohol
- if you drink regularly, drink no more than two standard drinks each day
- on a single occasion, drink no more than four standard drinks
- young people under 18 years of age should not drink alcohol
- the safest option for a pregnant or breastfeeding mother is not to drink alcohol.
Australian Standard Drinks
There have been a number of strategies and campaigns set up by various agencies with a view of reducing alcohol-related harms and maintaining a safer drinking culture in Australia. For further information, refer to the following links.
Agencies & Campaigns
http://www.alcohol.gov.au– provides information about related health issues and Australian government policy.
Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) NSW – operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide education, information, referral, crisis counselling and support. Call (02) 9361 8000 (Sydney metro) or 1800422599 (outside Sydney metro and interstate).
Your Room – provides drug and alcohol information and advice, campaigns and resources.
Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council – provides links to Aboriginal community controlled health services across NSW.
Drug and Alcohol Multicultural Education Centre (DAMEC) – provides services for people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Drug Info - run by the Australian Drug Foundation (ADF), the core purposes of the ADF are to prevent drug problems and reduce drug-related harms.
DrinkWise - not-for-profit organisation aiming to develop and maintain a safer drinking culture in Australia.
Drinking Nightmare - part of the National Binge Drinking Campaign, the main objective is to contribute to a reduction in harm associated with drinking to intoxication amongst young Australians.
Law Stuff - provides legal information to children and young people in Australia.
Lockout laws and last drinks to remain in Sydney - The NSW Government will maintain Sydney's lockout and last drinks laws.
My Nite – provides information on safe parties and registering your party with the NSW Police Force online.
What are you doing to yourself? - a NSW Health responsible drinking campaign aimed at tackling the growing problem of binge or excessive drinking and anti-social behaviour among teenagers and young adults.
Parentline - supports and nurtures positive, caring relationships between parents, children, teenagers and the significant other people who are important to the well-being of families.
ReachOut – provides practical tools and support to help young people get through a range of issues
Your Choice – provides practical tools and information in relation to the consequences of binge drinking, especially for teenagers.
Positive Choices - Get the facts, Stay smart, Stay safe