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.