WA worst  for booze-fuelled violence
Mean streets: WA felt the most unsafe in city areas. Picture: Bill Hatto/The West Australian

West Australians have experienced more alcohol-fuelled violence than any other Australians, according to a national poll on alcohol habits and attitudes.

The Galaxy Research survey commissioned by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education found that almost half of those polled in WA - 47 per cent - had experienced alcohol- related violence compared with 37 per cent of people nationally.

It also found that people in WA felt the most unsafe in city areas.

Though West Australians were more likely to drink six or more drinks at a time compared with other Australians, they also had a better knowledge of safe drinking guidelines.

In WA, 56 per cent of respondents knew two standards drinks was the recommended daily limit to reduce the risk of long-term harm, compared with 39 per cent nationally.

Almost half of Australians surveyed saw alcohol as the drug that caused most harm - twice as many as those who picked illegal drugs. Three-quarters believed Australia had a problem with excessive drinking and a similar number said more action was needed to curb its harm.

FARE chief executive Michael Thorn said increased awareness and heightened concerns came as no surprise.

"Repeated alcohol-related tragedies across Australia and a renewed focus and interest from the media means we are reminded on an almost daily basis of the negative and far-reaching consequences of alcohol use and abuse," he said.

McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth director Mike Daube said the results confirmed WA had some of the highest levels of alcohol consumption in the country.

But people wanted action, including measures recommended by health authorities and the Government's recent independent review of liquor control laws.

He said the 85 member groups in the WA Alcohol and Youth Action Coalition would press all MPs to support early action.

The West Australian

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