Parent warns about underage drinking danger

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Police in Larne are calling on parents to speak to their children about the dangers of underage drinking.

The message comes after the Larne Times received a call from a concerned parent, who claimed that teenagers are being served alcohol at certain licenced premises on a regular basis.

The man, who did not wish to be named, said: “I have seen young people as young as 15 being sold alcohol and I think it is a disgrace. It happens every weekend without fail and no one seems to ask them for any ID.”

A PSNI spokeswoman said it is “essential” that parents make their children aware of the consequences of getting caught up in underage drinking.

She added: “Parents should also ensure they know where their children are and what they are doing and advise them of the danger of accepting alcohol from strangers or adults who are willing to supply it.”

And while police were unable to comment on allegations of underage drinking in Larne, the spokeswoman said local officers are determined to educate young people on the dangers associated with this activity.

“Underage drinking can and often does have serious consequences,” she added.

“Young people can become victims of crime, receive serious injuries from excessive drinking, or can become involved in committing offences fuelled from consuming alcohol.

“Not only are young people who drink alcohol jeopardising their health but they are also taking chances with their future.

“Drinking under the age of 18 is breaking the law and even a low level youth diversion intervention can diminish education opportunities, as many colleges and universities ask for this information on their application forms. It is also an offence for an adult to buy alcohol for anyone under the age of 18.

“We do not want to prevent anyone from having a good time however we do want to protect our young people from the harm that can come from underage drinking and antisocial behaviour,” the spokeswoman concluded.