New South Wales Government
NSW Police Force

Young people and particularly those under the age of 18 are vulnerable to the damaging effects of alcohol.

  • In Australia alcohol is a key factor in the three leading causes of death among adolescents; unintentional injury, homicide and suicide.
  • Over one in five (22%) of all hospitalisations of young people aged 15-24 years old are alcohol related.
  • Of all those hospitalised, 30% of young men and 23% of young women are hospitalised because of an alcohol related assault.

As well as the serious and obvious health consequences of underage drinking, alcohol places the drinker and those around them at considerable risk of harm. Alcohol use, particularly excessive use can increase young people’s risk of becoming a victim and / or an offender of alcohol related crime, often violent crime such as sexual assault, physical assault, robbery, driving accidents, violence and antisocial behaviour offences.

There are a number of laws in NSW designed to protect young people (under 18’s) from being sold, given or from consuming alcohol. These laws apply to those that supply alcohol to under 18’s, and the under 18’s themselves.

NSW Police Force (NSWPF) is committed to enforcing these laws and increasing community awareness of the legal, social and health harms associated with under-age drinking.

As well as enforcing laws, NSWPF is also committed to reducing under-aged drinking and the associated harms by providing parents / guardians and the wider community with important information and support to help them achieve better outcomes for their children.

To that end, NSWPF with the support of the AERF have initiated two youth specific projects targeting underage drinkers, their parents / guardians and those that supply them with alcohol. These are Supply Means Supply and Your Choice.

Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol

In 2009 The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released Australian guidelines about drinking alcohol when under 18 years. These guidelines state:

‘…children under 15 years of age are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking and that for this group, not drinking alcohol is especially important.’

‘For young people aged 15-17 years, the safest option is to delay the initiation of drinking for as long as possible.’

NHMRC ‘Australian Guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol’ February 2009 Guidelines (PDF)

Written by Dhafir Al Shammery

Dhafir is one of the highest qualified managers in security with a Master pf policing, intelligence & Counter Terrorism. His Higher education obtained in the security studies enables him to implement and execute the right security measures, policies, strategies and methodologies required. Dhafir has been working in the Security Industry since 1998 and been the security consultant for a number of companies within Australia and overseas. Dhafir participations in conferences, discussions and strategic studies in the security field nationally and internationally have added to his knowledge and have a significant impact on his performance and role to be one of the highest qualified managers in the security industry field.