An increase in the legal drinking age from 16 to 18 would help stem the growth in the number of teenagers drinking them selves into a coma, CDA leader Sybrand van Haersma Buma says in Thursday’s Telegraaf.
At the moment 16-year-olds can buy beer and wine but only 18-year-olds can buy spirits.
The plan to raise the drinking age will be included in the CDA manifesto for the September general election, the paper says.
‘I am totally shocked. At the moment, two under-16s end up unconscious because of drink on a daily basis,’ Van Haersma Buma told the paper. ‘Parents have asked me to do something because they try to be tough at home and then the government lets the under-18s buy alcohol.’
Earlier this month, the senate passed legislation making it a criminal offence for the under-16s to possess alcoholic drinks.
According to the consumer safety organisation, some 2,300 youngsters are treated for abusing alcohol, every year. In addition, 24,000 end up in hospital following an accident or other incident involving alcohol.
Meanwhile, the head of the regional health boards has called for caffeine-rich energy drinks to be removed from the supermarket shelves.
‘Parents don’t realise drinks such as Red Bull are not suitable for children,’ Laurent de Vries says in Thursday’s AD. ‘You don’t give children a cup of coffee.’
De Vries also supports a rise in the legal age for alcohol to 18.
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