Should we do more to stop underage from drinking?

Drunk teens were caught at a beach party in Cardiff Bay, underage drinking is becoming more of a concern in Cardiff. However, drinking alcohol before 18 is illegal in the UK, should we do more to forbid our children drinking?

It has been reported that drunk teens were caught drinking in Cardiff Bay while some were found only 12 and one was even sent to the hospital because of “dangerously intoxicated”.

This incident reminds us of the risks of underage drinking, which is harmful to children’s physical as well as mental health. But more than that, underage drinking may cause serious accidents such as damaging public poverty, drunk driving, and even violence.

Drinking alcohol before 18 is illegal in the UK, however, there are still chances that children can get a drink behind our back. We took to the street and ask the public’s opinions about underage drinking.

Sam Morgan, 33, designer

“Yes, I think most people in Wales do drink when they are underage. I wouldn’t think it is a positive thing, but it is quite exactly it is normal. I think there are quite a lot of things we placed to stop young people to get alcohol, but automatically kids will find their ways to get it, whether from their friends or family members. I wouldn’t encourage it, but previously kids will do it wherever is behind your back.”

Alberto Berteseghi, 25, Italian

“In Italy, it is a little bit more. You got drunk and drive and accidents happen. It is better to start drinking earlier. It’s like 14 or 15 is a start age for drinking, not so much, but try to understand your body and your limit. I got my first drink when I was probably 5, my grandfather used to make wine and I had it when I was younger.”

Scarlett, 18, student in Cardiff University

“It depends on how young. I think underage drinking at kind of 16 plus it happens … I think it is a problem, I think what we’re exposed to as kind of just citizens who are maybe in poverty or anything it doesn’t seem that much a problem. And there are offline shops that they won’t ID you, but I think in Cardiff here, they are very strict to ID, I have never not been ID, neither any of my friends.”

Steven, 58, staff of local store that sells alcohol drinks

“When I was a child you can drink underage easily, but now you should show your ID, and you get asked a lot. It’s quite difficult to buy alcohol as underage. And we ask ID for every customer who looks like they are underage, under 25. So it’s quite difficult to buy alcohol in a reputable establishment. But maybe some shady places where you can get a drink.”

Abbie, 23, student

“It is becoming more of a thing. I know in Wales, they are tight on it in most shops, but I’ve had a couple of experiences with young people asking customers to buy drinks or cigarettes, and people do tend to do that for them. I was allowed to drink in the house when I was 14 with my parents. I think parents are having a little conversation with their children these days, and children are more likely to do things behind their back.”

Bryony, 33, local, a mother of 1

“I live in Cardiff but in the sub-urban area, you don’t really see it as much. And there have been a lot of young people drinking, but it is hard to tell who is underage and who is not. When I was younger, I did have alcohol before I was 18. For me as a parent now, I absolutely wouldn’t allow my child to do that, but it is only so much you can protect them, it is hard to control that.”