• 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
Munich pulls together after shopping mall shooting
Photo: DPA

In the chaos after the Munich mall shooting, city residents spontaneously offered shelter to strangers - a move that Chancellor Angela Merkel said showed that Germany's strength lies in its values.

Merkel deplores 'night of horror' in Munich
Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday said Munich had suffered a "night of horror" after a shooting spree in the southern German city left nine people dead.

Munich shooting
Munich attacker was shy video game fan
People laying flowers at the site of the shootings. Photo: DPA.

David Ali Sonboly was a quiet, helpful teenager who loved playing video games. His neighbours say there were no warning signs before his deadly rampage at a Munich shopping mall.

Munich shooting
Munich gunman inspired by rightwing Breivik: police
Photo: DPA

The lone teenager who shot dead nine people in a gun rampage in Munich was "obsessed" with mass killers such as Norwegian rightwing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik and had no links to the Islamic State group, police said Saturday.

Munich shooting
Turks, Kosovans and a Greek among shooting victims
Photo: DPA

Three Turkish citizens were among the nine people killed in Germany's Munich mall shooting. Three Kosovans were also among the nine victims.

Munich shooting
Munich gunman was likely not Isis terrorist: police
Flowers laid at the Olympia Shopping Centre underground station. Photo: DPA

According to initial investigations by Munich police, the young man who went on a shooting rampage in Munich on Friday evening was a lone gunman without motive, not a terrorist.

Munich shooting
'Lone' Munich shooter kills nine, commits suicide
Photo: DPA

A teenage German-Iranian gunman who killed nine people in a shooting spree at a busy Munich shopping centre and then committed suicide had likely acted alone, German police said Saturday.

As it happened
Nine dead in shooting rampage in Munich
File photo: DPA

Nine people are dead after "at least one person" went on a shooting spree in a Munich shopping centre on Friday evening. An attacker is believed to be among the dead.

German Turkish community split by unrest after coup plot
Pro-Erdogan protesters in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Hatred between supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and those opposed to him has exploded on social media in Germany in the wake of a failed coup attempt last Friday.

Germany stresses defence of Baltics after Trump comments
Photo: DPA

Germany on Friday stressed its promise to protect its NATO allies after White House hopeful Donald Trump called the commitment into question.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Analysis & Opinion
Nice was an attack on France, not on Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,713
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd