Saturday, May 17, 2008

Er... sorry, no alcohol for you

It was reported that a Tesco staff had refused to sell alcohol to a man. The reason? He had his 15 year old kid with him and the staff suspected that he was buying alcohol for his kid, who is under the legal drinking age of 18.

It is not unheard of to have parents buying alcohol for their kids, especially if the parents themselves see no harm to that. I've seen parents sharing alcoholic drinks with their kids, not a day older than 12, in the public.

But with the rise of alcohol related crimes and health problems, is that a responsible thing to do?

While I applaud Tesco's initiative, there is really no stopping adults who would simply pass alcohol that they've purchased earlier to juveniles.

On the other hand, where should we draw the line? Should adults consume alcohol when kids are around? Does it mean that it's not right to have alcohol even in a house when kids are present? Wouldn't that be too much?

What do you think?

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Thomas said...

I think the clerk did absolutely the right thing. I don't know the laws in England, but in the U.S., the clerk could be held responsible (MN). Better be safe than sorry.

LadyBanana said...

That's a difficult one as that would mean you will never be able to buy alcohol in the presence of a child.

I'm sure it's better for kids to see parents drinking responsibly, maybe with a meal than to try to hide it then it becomes forbidden, dangerous and exciting.

But then again, sadly not all parents can or will drink sensibly..

C K said...

I think the parent, who was refused the sale, was more bemused than offended.

But I don't think the staff in Tesco would be held responsible as he was technically not wrong when selling alcohol to an adult.

But there's really no stopping the adult from passing the alcohol to the kid later isn't it? :0

C K said...

I have to agree with you on that. It's important to have the kids mimic the responsible behaviour.

At the end of the day, it's the parents' responsibility to nurture their kids...

fie the elf said...

i think it's okay for parents to consume alcohol in front of their children, just as long as they do it moderately. a sip of wine, or something.

Regretful Morning said...

Thats a bit rough. Shouldn't matter who someone is with as long as they are legal.

Anonymous said...

It's legal in a lot of places.

Anonymous said...

I would say to abide by the laws (i.e. legal drinking age). Drinking shld be done responsibly and not taken to a level where it becomes an abuse. Parents need to explain to their children and not just make rules. Rules without reason produces rebellion. That's my 2 cents worth.

capybara said...

Under age drinking is a serious problem here in the UK. Kids can be clever and will always find a way to get alchohol. I think refusing to serve an adult accompanied by a juvenile is ridiculous and just another big brother style erosion of freedom that is rife in the UK.

C K said...

@fie the elf,
Agreed. Drinking shouldn't be viewed as a forbidden sin otherwise adolescents who tend to be rebellious at a certain stage would certainly drink on the sly, which of course is much worse.

C K said...

@regretful morning,
It's difficult to know where to draw the line, isn't it? Tesco has been lobbying the Govt to pass a law to increase booze's prices, to discourage overall drinking, to no avail for some reasons.

But really...some adults, who are less responsible than the rest, cannot be trusted with alcohol.

C K said...

@my bug life,
:) I've heard some people who sneaked sips from their parents' drinks cabinet and then add water to top it up to the original level.

However, unlike smoking, which has no obvious health benefits, drinking should be supervised by parents in a moderate manner.

I don't know about you, but my first sip of alcohol was with my mates.

C K said...

I think the idea of portraying drinking as something glamourous by the media is to be blamed for the increased level of drinking by UK's youths.

Rarely do I not see a picture of local pop stars, much revered by youths, not holding a bottle of booze in the news.

SheR. said...

Alcoholism is a huge problem regardless of the age. If a mother sets a bad example of binge drinking, then there's no stopping the kids from following likewise.
A mate of mine had his milk spiked with rum when he was a baby. The reason his mum gave him was.. he was too noisy! Well.. that pretty much sums up why so many are alcoholics in UK?!

Miss Mae said...

I agree with Thomas. If something bad had happened, blame wouldn't be pointed at the parents, but at the least here in the US, anyway...


Shirley said...

Our legal drinking age is 21 so there are always collage students who are looking for someone to buy them beer.
I don't see how this clerk could have arrived at that conclusion, after all the man was of legal age and had the right to buy whatever the store had for sale. It he gave some to his son then it should be him who was responsible not the clerk. What would have been the difference if the boy had sat in the car and not entered the store with him. The clerk can't even know what a person does with anything they purchase in a store.

C K said...

I have heard of instances whereby parents spike their children's drink. They must be real frustrated about the din.

I wonder how your mate's mum broke that news to him. But I'm sure he wore it like a badge of honour..

C K said...

@miss mae,
Frankly, I'm suprised that the laws are that tough in the States. I assume that drinking related crimes among the youths are lower then?

C K said...

I think the store staff overheard the parent discussing about what to do with the alcohol later. So the staff decided against selling it to the parent.

But you're right. By refusing alcohol to adults with underage kids is not an end all solution.

Jon said...

This is not a solution to an ever increasing problem in the UK. Kids everywhere are drinking, look at the daily images on TV screens.
The answer to under age binge drinking has to be education. Teach kids about the dangers of alcohol abuse - even then there will still be a hardcore that want to continue. This is one of the toughest problems today's society has and finding a solution will be incredibly difficult.

C K said...

I think binge drinking has to be made to be seen as 'uncool'. Images of drunks with vomit all over will help perhaps.

Telling youths that drinking is bad for them will probably just drive them to experiment with it.

I fully agree with you that it will be one of the toughest problem at hand. And until the socity admits that, it's going to be an uphill task.

nightcabcontroller said...

The Tesco person is misguided..In Spain, parents mix lemonade with wine to give to their children at table.
Drinking this "gaseosa" in a civilized family environment means that people drink more sensibly in adult life.