Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Merry Drunkmas.

It’s that time of the year again: more domestic violence, more street violence, more drunken hoodlums on the loose, more drink-driving, and a society losing hope that it can ever be controlled. Ironically, this is the time of the year we once celebrated as a time of “peace and goodwill to all”. Although the following report was made in September this year, it still applies to the Christmas period:

Excerpts from The Daily Telegraph Surgeons join police to change culture of binge drinking ahead of weekend blitz today, December 14, 2010:

MEDICAL professionals are joining forces with police in a major campaign to change the culture of binge drinking, warning that alcohol-related violence is almost out of control…….

"If we do nothing, we run the risk of losing a generation of young people who think it's the norm to drink until you drop," Mr Scipione said……

"If you drink yourself into a stupor you are asking for trouble ... this is supposed to be a peaceful, enjoyable time of year but there's nothing enjoyable about being arrested," he said…….

Spokesman Dr John Crozier said alcohol was a far greater problem than all other drugs combined and the "waste of human life" had to stop.
"When you see the carnage as I do ... the shattered skulls, the scarred faces and the torn bodies, there should not even be a debate about this issue, the change in drinking behaviour must occur," Dr Crozier said. As a trauma specialist and vascular surgeon at Liverpool Hospital, Dr Crozier sees the worst of what alcohol can do. "The savagery of a beer glass to the face should be incomprehensible to a civilised community," he said…..
More than 2400 people were arrested during the last rollout of Operation Unite, in September.

"This behaviour has to stop, and we will do everything in our power to see that happen," Mr Scipione said.

Also in today’s Daily Telegraph, excerpts from Drink, be merry, but don't end up as an ugly statistic , Commissioner Scipione’s Open Letter to the community:

The abuse of alcohol is not just a policing problem, it is the entire community's problem. The Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation's recent report, The Range and Magnitude of Alcohol's Harm to Others, found more than 70,000 Australians are victims of alcohol-related assaults every year.
In 2005 alone, 367 people died and almost 14,000 people were hospitalised due to the drinking of others.
More than 24,000 Australians were the victims of alcohol-related domestic violence while 20,000 children were victims of substantiated alcohol-related child abuse.
This behaviour is totally unacceptable in any society.
This weekend, Operation Unite will see police crack down on alcohol-related crime in every Australian state and territory and in New Zealand….
In NSW, phase one of this year's initiative, in September, resulted in the arrests of 737 people, charged in total with more than 1100 offences.
Don't be one of those arrested by police this weekend.
You don't want to be a drunk who ends up in a jail cell, contemplating how a criminal conviction could cost you your job, overseas travel, your reputation and ultimately, your freedom.

Every year we hear the same thing, and it never gets any better. Far more drastic measures will need to be taken, and perhaps rather than trying to curb the problem with more enforcement it may have to start with raising the legal drinking age to 21 and shutting down clubs and pubs earlier (this is how it was 30 years ago). Most of the older generation I speak to say they are now afraid to go into cities at nights, particularly weekend nights, and our streets are ruled by fear. Not that some of the older generation aren’t themselves sometimes also offenders. Let’s not entirely blame the youth because after all, we created this.


1. Police, society have had enough

2. Go drunkenly straight to jail if you break law, NSW police warn in Christmas lead up

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