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Raising Poland's legal drinking age to 21


PennBoy 76 | 2,437
22 Apr 2011  #1
In an attempt to fight alcoholism amongst the youth the government is proposing a controversial legal age of 21.

Jerzy Wierchowicz, Councilman from Gorzow recently ran a very original idea. Former MP urged to tighten regulations on the sale of alcohol. According to him, spirits should be sold in Poland, to those who are at least 21 years old.

Councilor, justifying its proposal, refers to the situation in the United States, where the introduction of such a restriction significantly decreased the number of traffic accidents caused by minors.

This idea is also to help in the fight against alcoholism in Poland. In our country, from year to year there are increasingly more people addicted to vodka. Thousands of children grow up in families of alcoholics. The youngest, the example of their loved ones, even very early start to drink alcohol, gradually slipping into a growing addiction.

Many politicians, however, considers the idea of ​​a councilor from Gorzow too controversial. They claim that 18-year-old is now fully grown up yet and the introduction of such a ban would restrict its citizens' freedom. Young people will become criminals simply trying to get any price for alcohol. With these concerns also agree to addiction specialists. According to them, it makes no sense to raise the age limit, since it is currently in force and so is not respected ...

Does your opinion really is not worth it so put these restrictions?

Jerzy Wierchowicz , councilor from Gorzow came up recently on a very original idea . Former MP urges to tighten regulations on the sale of alcohol . According to him , spirit drinks should be sold in Poland to those who have completed at least 21 years of age.

Councillor motivating its design , refers to the situation in the United States, where the introduction of such a restriction significantly reduced the number of car accidents caused by minors.

The idea is also to help in the fight against alcoholism in Poland. In our country , from year to year, because people addicted to vodka. The families of alcoholics grow up over 6 thousand . Children . The youngest , following the example of their loved ones, also very early start to drink alcohol , gradually slipping into a growing habit.

JonnyM 11 | 2,621
22 Apr 2011  #2
Pointless. It will make criminals of ordinary young people, make alcohol seem more special than it is and in any case there isn't any evidence that a higher minimum drinking age reduces substance abuse.
guesswho 4 | 1,289
22 Apr 2011  #3
Raising Poland's legal drinking age to 21

Great idea. Way too many young alcoholics there (I witnessed it myself). I realize, my opinion won't be very popular on PF :-)
OP PennBoy 76 | 2,437
22 Apr 2011  #4
Great idea. Way too many young alcoholics there (I witnessed it myself)

That's true supposedly 50-60% of Polish 12-14 year olds get drunk on a regular basis. It's good that they look at the United States and it's success with drunk driving (21 y/o drinking age and stiffer DUI laws) however i fear that kids will look for other ways to "party". Poland doesn't have a serious drug problem like the US many kids (especially in smaller cities and towns) didn't even try Marihuana.
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
23 Apr 2011  #5
Quite a lot of bars and shops have a 21 and over age limit, so it doesn't sounds so bad an idea to me.
guesswho 4 | 1,289
23 Apr 2011  #6
Poland doesn't have a serious drug problem like the US many kids didn't even try Marihuana.

yeah that too. Besides, we both know how easy it is to buy alcohol in Poland. Unless they'll do something about it too, nothing will ever change.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
23 Apr 2011  #7
supposedly 50-60% of Polish 12-14 year olds get drunk on a regular basis.

So going on those statistics, raising the legal age will only make things worse i.e. more illegal drinkers.

It's good that they look at the United States and it's success with drunk driving (21 y/o drinking age and stiffer DUI laws)

I agree with this completely.

I agree again, the drug of choice is alcohol here.

Poland very much reminds me of life in Ireland growing up in this respect.
And what made most young Irish people afraid of drink driving was a very graphic and heart wrenching national campaign on the T.V.
There were horrific advertisements showing the full details of what happens when you hurtle a ton of metal, plastic and rubber down the road impaired.
Leopejo 4 | 120
23 Apr 2011  #8
What does legal drinking age mean? Can minors drink alcohol, as long as it is at home with the parents, for example?
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
23 Apr 2011  #9
make alcohol seem more special than it is

That doesn't matter when you got a lot of alcoholics in the population.
Leopejo 4 | 120
23 Apr 2011  #10
I find a direct relationship between alcohol regulation (minimum age, selling hours, high taxes) and alcoholism in my countries. Not that I am proposing causality.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
23 Apr 2011  #11
I haven't noticed that where I live. Where there is less regulation, there are more alcoholics. No one is telling anyone to not drink, so everyone starts drinking at an early age, and they get addicted. The earlier you start drinking, the more likely you are to become an alcoholic. Something to do with the brain chemistry.

If you look at history, you will see a correlation between addiction and less regulation.
Leopejo 4 | 120
23 Apr 2011  #12
If you look at history, you will see a correlation between addiction and less regulation.

Not in my experience, at least in a bigger scale. The more regulation the more addiction.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
23 Apr 2011  #13
If everything were legal, addiction rates would be much higher. People used to get addicted to morphine in large numbers when it was available over the counter in various tonics. Who wants to go back to that? It's why it became illegal...all those damn addicts everywhere.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,669
23 Apr 2011  #14
Look at the behavior of Scandinavians between the age of 16-21 with alcohol, then compare to Poles.

Then look at the price and availability of alcohol in each area.
antheads 13 | 347
23 Apr 2011  #15
If everything were legal, addiction rates would be much higher. People used to get addicted to morphine in large numbers when it was available over the counter in various tonics..

That's not true, when morphine was legal most people were not aware of its addiction potential, it was marketed as a cure for all. There's a greater question here, should goverments have the right to make criminals out of people consuming a certain substance.

Regulation rather than legalisation is the way to go.

As for the 21 year law it won't work. But other regulations such as the hours you can buy alcohol would.

For instance in oz you can buy alcohol only from special 'bottle shops' which close at 10pm.
Most alcohol problems occur once the bottle of vodka has been drunk and then you wander off at midnight or 3am to get another. Having limited opening hours might curb this problem.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
23 Apr 2011  #16
That's not true, when morphine was legal most people were not aware of its addiction potential, it was marketed as a cure for all.

People knew it was addictive because they got addicted to it. They figured it out. Doctors definitely knew it was addictive. The civil war created a lot of morphine addicts. Doctors knew then. If it were not addictive, you would still see morphine laced tonics and tinctures on the shelves of the local pharmacy or super market. Legalizing the stuff creates addicts, that's why it's not legal, unless you have a prescription for it and then it's a controlled substance. You can't even get it in cough medicine anymore because so many people went to the pharmacy, got the pharmacist to give then some and drank it like coca cola.

Obviously, authorities are seeing a problem with alcohol addiction in Poland, that is why they want to do something about it. They should be applauded for caring, not criticized and condemned. The 21 and up law is a good idea.
antheads 13 | 347
23 Apr 2011  #17
Obviously, authorities are seeing a problem with alcohol addiction in Poland, that is why they want to do something about it. They should be applauded for caring, not criticized and condemned. The 21 and up law is a good idea

Well yes, the more freely avaible a substance is the more it can be misused. But the flip side incarcerating people for utilising that substance. Cigarettes are as addictive as morphine do you support the prohibition of cigarretes?

People knew it was addictive because they got addicted to it. They figured it out.

Thats circular logic, there were no warning labels, it was sold in an unregulated market to an uneducated populace. Do you think oxycontin would have got so popular if the drug maker/doctors had told users it was as addictive as heroin?>
convex 20 | 3,978
23 Apr 2011  #18
Motorcycles are pretty addictive too, and dangerous! Should be banned obviously :)

The 21 and up law is a good idea.

It's done wonders in the US...
tygrys 2 | 294
23 Apr 2011  #19
Great idea. Way too many young alcoholics there (I witnessed it myself). I realize, my opinion won't be very popular on PF :-)

I agree with you. But that won't stop them from drinking at home, only at bars.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
23 Apr 2011  #20
What they do here is arrest the person selling cigarettes or booze to minors (for cigarettes, it's 18 and older can legally buy, 21 for alcohol.) They set up a sting operation, where an undercover cop pretends to be a minor, goes to a store and buys beer or cigarettes. If the clerk doesn't ID them, the clerk gets fined or arrested or something. After that, the clerk IDs. I get IDed every time I buy booze. Poland might start doing this if a law is passed.

People under 21 drink from time to time, but it's not supported by the state. Parents can get arrested for supplying teenagers with beer. That happened just recently, as a matter of fact. A woman gave several teenagers beer outside on her patio with no fence of any kind around her backyard. Someone called the cops and they caught her.

I have no problem with it. It's not fool proof, but at least it gives some leverage so it's not completely out of control.
kerul
23 Apr 2011  #21
In Poland, we always say: "alcohol taste better before 18" (when you become an 'adult' you are not as satisfied as you were before 18 y/o), so this won't make youth stop drinking. It'll be even more fun. And there always is someone that will buy it for you.

PennBoy: You are wrong! 12-14 y/os don't drink. Rather 15-17s do.
pawian 161 | 9,938
23 Apr 2011  #22
In an attempt to fight alcoholism amongst the youth the government is proposing a controversial legal age of 21.

Stupid idea. They want to cut me off booze. But I will find my way to get it!
spieretti 1 | 31
23 Apr 2011  #23
Great idea.

Yeah, cuz prohibition really worked on the yanks...
OP PennBoy 76 | 2,437
23 Apr 2011  #24
PennBoy: You are wrong! 12-14 y/os don't drink. Rather 15-17s do.

No i am right i've read in an article in Rzeczpospolita 12-14 year old don't drink what kid of world are you living in?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,669
23 Apr 2011  #25
Quite normal for Rzeczpospolita to post such stuff.

It's not true. Trust us - we live here, we know what we see - and the usual is for 15-17 year olds, just like in most of Europe.
isthatu2 4 | 2,708
24 Apr 2011  #26
make it 25 then us adults can go out on a night out in relative peace.......or rather,without dodging round arsholed youths and collapsed young slappers....
OP PennBoy 76 | 2,437
24 Apr 2011  #27
It's not true. Trust us - we live here, we know what we see - and the usual is for 15-17 year olds, just like in most of Europe.

I also used to live there and was born there so i know, i saw plenty of 12y/o drunk boys and girls.
kerul
24 Apr 2011  #28
Bad neighborhood? Of course, I saw drunk kids, but those kids usually have problems at home. It's not normal. I have younger friends, i know how it is.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,884
24 Apr 2011  #29
Pennboy wrote:

It's good that they look at the United States and it's success with drunk driving (21 y/o drinking age and stiffer DUI laws) however i fear that kids will look for other ways to "party".

In general, I'd have to say that the longer you make them wait to drink (legally) the better, it at least gives law enforcement albiet a slim chance of stopping some of them but in Poland, because most kids ages 18-21 do not own cars anyhow, it may not have much of an effect on drunk driving. the "success" in the USA is due to the fact that most kids are getting their driver's licenses even before they're 18 and when they do, they all immediately get their own cars which means they all have the opportunity to drive to bars, restaurants, friends' houses, get wasted and drive home drunk.......but they all know how stiff the penalties are for getting caught, which saves lives.

It's just a theory of mine, I'd be curious as to what the statistics look like in Poland, meaning what age the drivers are that are killed in drunk driving accidents.
kerul
24 Apr 2011  #30
Most of kids at age of 18 have a car, or at least a driving license. But 'fresh' drivers almost never drink before driving. They don't want to lose their driving licenses. Anyway.. marijuana is the problem now.


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