Crackdown on law allowing teens to drink alcohol with parents

Underage teens will soon be banned from drinking alcohol provided by their parents in pubs under a new law being passed by the Victorian government.

In Victoria, teens have been able to consume a glass of beer or wine in licensed venues under the supervision of their parents, but legislation to outlaw it has made it through the Lower House.

The Upper House is yet to vote but there is strong support for the ban.

Victoria is the only state in Australia to have this law.

The Foundation for Alcohol and Research Education made submissions to a Victorian government review into the drinking loophole and the group’s chief executive Michael Thorn previously told The Herald Sun the law was “archaic”.

“At its heart the Liquor Act should protect families and children throughout Victoria from the very real harm from alcohol, yet here we have a provision that actually allows underage children to drink alcohol in pubs and clubs, something that runs counter to our national drinking guidelines and all of the scientific and medical evidence,” he said.

Underage teens will no longer be able to drink alcohol with a meal in Victoria with their parents. Source:  Sally Anscombe/Getty Images

Victorian Minister for Gambling and Liquor Regulation Marlene Kairouz said the ban would protect children from alcohol harm.

“Minors shouldn’t be allowed to drink alcohol in licensed venues – that’s why we’re changing the law to close this loophole,” she said in a statement.

The ABC reports the opposition also supports the ban but the Institute of Public Affairs slammed it and said parents could make decisions for their own children.

“It is purely an exercise in self-aggrandisement on the part of pinheads in the health department who have nothing better to do than concoct new ways of controlling out lives,” IPA director of policy Simon Breheny told the ABC.