• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

MP demands fine for parents of drunk teens

The Local · 13 Feb 2013, 11:12

Published: 13 Feb 2013 11:12 GMT+01:00

“The fast rising number of German youths drinking themselves into a coma and being taken to German hospitals is unacceptable,” parliamentary health expert from the conservative Christian Democrats Jens Spahn told regional newspaper the Rheinische Post.

Because unnecessary staff and money were needed to treat drunk patients, parents should be made to pay a fine of €100 directly to their health insurer to cover the costs and, Spahn suggested, to remind them that they are responsible for their children's behaviour.

In North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) alone, the number of German youths aged between 10 and 19 who have to be hospitalised for excess alcohol consumption is rising. In 2011 the figure stood at 6,548 which, statutory health insurer DAK said, was an increase of 4.3 percent since 2003.

On average, 325 out of each 100,000 young people in Germany drink themselves into the hospital each year, the Rheinische Post reported.

Story continues below…

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:37 February 13, 2013 by raandy
Lets not stop there, how about when they fall off their bikes, and need attention parents should have taught them better.
13:18 February 13, 2013 by lucksi
100€ to cover the costs?

Try going to an US hospital, or even worse, be driven there by an ambulance. See how far 100 bucks will go to cover the costs.
13:37 February 13, 2013 by kbrauneis
Now that we are on the topic. Why not charge a fine for having to pay a fine.
14:52 February 13, 2013 by rosenthalenglish
How about raising the age when children can buy alcohol here in Germany?I can send my 16 year old daughter out to buy me a beer in the local supermarket,yea,she has to show her ID card.In the UK they would refuse to serve her as she is underage. The thing is she drinks sensibly with her mother and I but many youngsters just go out to get plastered.Why charge the parents,make the kids do a service to the community which is worth the cost of the hospital treatment.They might think twice if it affects them.Giving their parents a €100 fine would just make them laugh!
15:52 February 13, 2013 by kbrauneis
Rosenthal... just some headlines from good ol´UK

Underage drinking in Britain 'among worst in the world' - Telegraph

Uk's teenage girls are biggest binge drinkers in Europe | Mail Online

BBC NEWS | UK | England | London | Under-age drinking 'on the rise'
16:11 February 13, 2013 by rosenthalenglish
kbrauneis-You make a good point.Now who is buying them the booze?Obviously those over 18.Even at 23 and in the RAF,I was asked for proof of age as I was so small.
16:49 February 13, 2013 by kbrauneis
I think one issue is that kids today have more money in their pockets as we did. I had to mow lawns, deliver newspapers , wash cars, etc just to get some money. My parents had me on an allowance only if my chores and grades were up to par. keeping the kids busy and on tighter leashes is key IMHO.
19:24 February 13, 2013 by Englishted
@ rosenthalenglish

I am inclined to agree with @ kbrauneis on this.

Please don't hold the U.K. up as a example on any subject relating to alcohol whether it is price or opening hours.

I think it is a good idea to let teenagers buy beer at 16 and restrict the hard stuff till 18.

I have been told that now days (don't know from personal experience) that the medical staff at tent parties,shooting fest etc. will now take you into hospital when you have been sick ,which is far from sinking into a coma .

I don't know the answer to this problem but pricing alone just will not work.
00:23 February 14, 2013 by pepsionice
Around six years ago from my German village....we had a fifteen year old German kid who was finally sent off to a big-league alcohol rehab facility. When they were done, they then sent the kid onto a private school deal up in Finland....paid for by Social Services folks (supposedly a quiet rural school in the middle of nowhere, with no alcohol within twenty km's). He stayed there a year before he was allowed to come back to the village.

I would make a personal guess....out of this village of 3k residents....there were a dozen teenagers with drinking problems, and at least five or six really needed serious rehab....before they were even eighteen. My chief blame is parents just hand the kid fifty Euro a week, and never ask where it goes.
01:32 February 14, 2013 by hanskarl
They should start at €1,000 to defray the cost and to make a point to the parents. The parents can get the money out of their kids...over time....with interest....
08:26 February 14, 2013 by Englishted
@ hanskarl

With a possibility of profit because many of those who deliver the teenagers to the hospital are volunteers a fine of €1000 would be a incentive to pull in more.

Plus when did it become o.k. for the parents to be responsible for children over say 16 ,if the law says they are old enough to buy beer then are they old enough to act responsible with it? ,(I was working full time at 16) younger than that then yes parents should have responsibility for some actions but not all ,remember children have murdered children before what would you do then?
10:14 February 14, 2013 by The-ex-pat
13:18 February 13, 2013 by lucksi 100€ to cover the costs?

Try going to an US hospital, or even worse, be driven there by an ambulance. See how far 100 bucks will go to cover the costs....

Two years ago whist on holiday in the US, I had to be treated by a doctor. As a visitor, my credit card was gladly accepted. The bill to see a doctor and a nurse, the ailment became the least of my worries. However, it was more than four times what I later worked out to be the holiday health insurance I had paid and never used over the last 20 years. I can never understand people who skip health insurance for the holiday time.............and back on topic....

In principle, this is not a bad idea. However, the parents that can afford it will not care and those who cannot will just end up with larger fines they still cannot pay AND, the kicker will be.....German bureaucracy will most probably dictate that a parent is responsible for a "child" if they are under 21 or so regardless that they are legally and adult and self responsible at the age of 18. Or I would not put it past them to say if your child is still in full time education and that will push the limit up to about 45 $$$$$$$$, sorry €€€€€€€...................lol
01:56 February 15, 2013 by bellsucks
Strange. Everyone knows that it is usually a Parent supplying the Booze.
Today's headlines
Record 125k people file suit against Canada trade deal
A leader of one of the groups opposing the trade deal stacks another box full of lawsuit documents, presented to the Constitutional Court on Wednesday. Photo: DPA.

More than 125,000 Germans have filed the largest citizen lawsuit in German history against the controversial proposed CETA trade deal between Canada and the EU.

Evacuation at Frankfurt airport ended after security lapse
Travelers being evacuated from Terminal 1 of Frankfurt airport. Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: Officials ended a partial evacuation of Frankfurt airport on Wednesday afternoon after police found and arrested a woman who had somehow evaded proper checks, prompting security concerns.

Merkel: 'Germany will remain Germany'
Photo: DPA.

One year after Angela Merkel first declared "we can do this," leading to a huge uptick in refugees applying for asylum, the Chancellor reflected this week on her policies and the future of Germany.

Nazi beach resort ruin turned into luxury playground
Prora. Photo: DPA

One of the biggest relics left behind by the Nazis is undergoing a radical transformation on a German island, harnessing a property boom to become a luxury tourist destination.

Berlin plans to be first state to arm police with tasers
Photo: DPA.

Berlin's plans to arm police patrols with taser guns would make it the first German state to implement extensive use of the electroshock weapon.

Far-right AfD leader injured by flying frozen cake
Jörg Meuthen and a cake. Photo: DPA

The co-leader of the far-right AfD party was attacked with a cake while attending a political event on Monday. But the fact the dessert was frozen made the act "dangerous", according to the politician.

Underwater pensioner hunts boats on famed Bavarian lake
A passenger boat on Lake Starnberg. Photo: DPA

"I love chasing the ships, and what a great feeling it is when they sound the horn!" he gleefully exclaims.

What are Merkel's chances for remaining Chancellor?
Photo: DPA.

She's already held the Chancellery for over a decade, but infighting with political allies as well as a rocky response to her refugee policies may put a damper on Angela Merkel's staying power.

German EU commissioner doubts Brexit will happen
EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger. Photo: EPA.

Germany's EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger raised doubts on Tuesday about whether Britain would leave the bloc, saying he wouldn't bet on "Brexit".

Merkel offers Russia a lifting of sanctions - if it behaves
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that she has "the very greatest interest in stopping sanctions" against Russia, Reuters reports.

National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
7,567
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd