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Legislation to combat underage drinking passes

THE SLOVAK Parliament on May 14 passed a law that bans young adults under 18 from consuming alcohol and that requires children under 15 be accompanied by a parent if they are going to be somewhere that serves alcohol after 21:00, the Sme daily wrote.

THE SLOVAK Parliament on May 14 passed a law that bans young adults under 18 from consuming alcohol and that requires children under 15 be accompanied by a parent if they are going to be somewhere that serves alcohol after 21:00, the Sme daily wrote.

Ľudmila Mušková and Katarína Tóthová from the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), sponsors of the revision to the Act on the Protection from Alcohol Abuse and Establishment and Operation of Detoxification Centres, believe that the bill will reduce the number of underage drinkers, the SITA newswire wrote.

The law also obliges teachers, principals, doctors and policemen to report cases of underage drinking. The child’s parents will be fined Sk1,000 for a first offense. Repeated offenses can result in the youth being banned from entering any establishment where alcohol is served.
According to the daily, municipalities have criticised the law, arguing that they do not have the police power to enforce it.

And Ivan Novotný, a doctor who treats alcohol and drug addicts, has said that the law will not solve underage drinking.

“Some fines will be imposed and everything will just fall into the same old routine,” Novotný told Sme.

Ľubomír Okruhlica, the chief expert for treating drug addictions at the Health Ministry, agrees that punishing alcohol abuse does not address the underlying problem.
Increasing the price of alcohol and reducing or banning alcohol advertising would be more effective, he told the daily.

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