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MP demands fine for parents of drunk teens

The Local · 13 Feb 2013, 11:12

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

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“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)

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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.
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