Intended for healthcare professionals


Netherlands may punish youths to tackle teenage alcohol misuse

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 02 August 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:226
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. Utrecht

    Under 16 year olds in the Netherlands could be fined for possessing alcohol in public as part of a crackdown against the rising problem of underage drinking. In specifically targeting—and punishing—youths for possession, the proposals go far beyond most European countries' policies, such as UK bylaws to prevent drinking in public.

    But with research that shows a trend towards young Dutch people drinking earlier and more heavily, the Netherlands' Labour Party, part of the governing coalition, says that it's time that national politicians took the lead in preventing cases of “booze, or alcoholic, coma.”

    The plan …

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