Campaign urges positive approach to drinking at 18

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Sunshine Coast Council

Drinking in pubs and clubs is a privilege, not a right, once you turn 18 – that’s the message being sent to Sunshine Coast teenagers as part of a an awareness program in local schools.
My Life, My Decision, My Responsibility, an initiative of CALM Mooloolaba (Collaborative Approach to Liquor Management), is supported by CALM Sunshine Coast in an effort to increase young people’s awareness of the realities they will face when they turn 18.
The program aims to alert young people to the expectations and responsibilities associated with the privilege of being able to legally drink and attend licensed premises and how to plan and successfully execute a safe, fun night out.
Tomorrow at St John’s College, more that 600 students from both Independent and Government schools will join Queensland Police, Queensland Transport, Sunshine Coast Council and proprietors of pubs and clubs to launch the 2011 campaign with a difference – one that acknowledges the reality that young people will start to frequent licensed venues once they are legally entitled to.
Council’s Community Programs Manager, Mike Lollback, said young people have received loads of information about the dangers of excessive drinking on their health but there are no real programs that explain the realities of the 18-plus life they will move into.
“At 18, people can vote, get their driver’s licences, legally drink alcohol and go into licensed premises – it’s an exciting time,” he said.
“The program hopes to instil in these young people the need to make responsible decisions for the safety of themselves and their friends.
“No one is saying ‘don’t drink’, but if you are going out with friends to a licensed venue and you are going to drink, plan to get home safely. Make the plan before you go out and stick to it.”
My Life, My Decision, My Responsibility is designed to provide young people with factual information in relation to the expectations, responsibilities and realities associated with alcohol, licensed venues and personal behaviour.
The program started last week, visiting the Noosaville area and will continue across the Sunshine Coast region for the next four weeks visiting schools such as St John’s College, Pacific Lutheran College, St Andrew’s Anglican College concluding on 17 November at Beerwah State High School.
The initiative is supported by Queensland Police, Queensland Transport and Main Roads, Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation, and Sunshine Coast Council.