Plans to Curb Excessive Drinking on Upcoming National Day in Australia

by Thilaka Ravi on  January 25, 2010 at 12:48 PM Alcohol & Drug Abuse News   - G J E 4
Australian police have urged pubs and stores to restrict the sale of strong alcohol while councils have declared popular beaches and parks "dry" to prevent loutish behaviour on Tuesday's national day.
Plans to Curb Excessive Drinking on Upcoming National Day in Australia
Plans to Curb Excessive Drinking on Upcoming National Day in Australia

Thousands of police will be deployed in the most populous state of New South Wales to patrol areas with large numbers of drinking venues following a tripling of arrests last Australia Day.

"Australia Day does cause problems because many people start drinking early without any other plan other than to keep drinking," acting New South Wales Police Commissioner Dave Owens told The Sunday Telegraph.

"We learnt a lot last year and we're planning to be able to deal with those problems," operation commander Mark Murdoch told the paper.

In the west coast city of Perth, police plan to ensure people do not drink alcohol outside homes or licensed premises.

"It is illegal to drink alcohol in public and we will enforce the law," Western Australia's Assistant Police Commissioner Michelle Fyfe told state radio earlier this month.

"There is no wriggle room because it's Australia Day."

Temperatures are expected to soar above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) across Australia on the public holiday marking the anniversary of the arrival of the first fleet of convict ships from Britain in 1788.

Drug and alcohol expert Professor Margaret Hamilton of the University of Melbourne said Australians needed to lose the long-held attitude that if it is "a holiday, we must have drinks."

"I think it's not so much whether we drink or don't drink, it's how we drink," she told AFP on Sunday.

"What is it about our culture that says we have to drink until we get drunk?"

Curbing excessive drinking has been a stated goal of the government which has set aside 53 million dollars (48 million US) to stop what Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described as a binge-drinking "epidemic" among the young.

Source: AFP

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