✯✯✯ Australian Drinking Age

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Australian Drinking Age

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Why the US drinking age is 21

If someone is so affected by alcohol or other drugs that they cannot freely provide consent — this is considered a sexual offence. Young people are more likely to engage in unsafe sexual practices such as having sexual intercourse without a condom when they have been drinking. Drinking alcohol can affect how the brain develops in those under Young people under 15 years are particularly at risk. Teenage brains are still developing, and the areas of the brain that undergo the most dramatic changes during the teenage years are the frontal lobe and hippocampus. These areas are associated with motivation, impulse control and addiction.

Alcohol is a neurotoxin, which means it can damage the brain. One of the effects of excessive alcohol use is that it interferes with vitamin B absorption, which prevents the brain from working properly. Long-term drinking above the recommended levels may lead to a range of disorders, collectively known as alcohol-related brain injury ARBI. Symptoms can include learning and memory problems, and difficulties with balance.

Young people are more likely to take risks when drinking. Alcohol is a significant factor in a range of risky situations, including:. Celebrating the end of high school schoolies week is often linked to episodes of very high levels of single-session drinking or deliberately drinking to intoxication. Risky alcohol consumption can be linked to the use of other drugs. Taking alcohol with other drugs that also suppress the central nervous system such as heroin and benzodiazepines can be particularly risky. The combination of alcohol and drugs including cannabis can also lead to increased risk taking.

Driving or carrying out other activities while under the influence is dangerous — a young person may harm themselves and others. This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by:. Saying no can be hard. There are things you can do to make it easier. While the relationship between alcohol consumption and obesity remains unclear, there are good reasons to think that alcohol may play a role. Don't give up if your plan doesn't work the first time. Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional.

The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to ascertain whether the particular therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is suitable in their circumstances.

The State of Victoria and the Department of Health shall not bear any liability for reliance by any user on the materials contained on this website. Skip to main content. Young people Home Young people Alcohol and teenagers. Actions for this page Listen Print. Summary Read the full fact sheet. On this page. Teen alcohol usage statistics How parents can encourage responsible drinking Preventing young people from risky drinking Alcohol and its health risks for young people Schoolies week and alcohol Mixing alcohol with other drugs Where to get help.

The safest level of alcohol drinking for children and young people is not drinking. How parents can encourage responsible drinking Studies have shown that the most influential role models for children are their parents and carers. Children learn by imitation, so it is important to demonstrate sensible drinking behaviour such as: Drink moderately or not at all. Never drink and drive. Suggestions include: Be a good role model. Teach your child about alcohol from an early age. Explain the downside of heavy and binge drinking such as vomiting, head spins, passing out and hangovers. Educate your teenager on the links between drinking and risky behaviour — such as the increased risk of accidents and injury, and how alcohol impacts the ability to make decisions.

Teach your teenager sensible tactics such as — how to say no, sticking to the standard drink recommendations, pacing themselves, alternating alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks and not drinking on an empty stomach. Talk about the dangers of drink-driving — plan some alternatives such as catching public transport, designated drivers or calling home. Encourage your teenager to talk with their friends about the dangers of alcohol, so they can come up with ways to look out for each other. Preventing young people from risky drinking According to research, there are many important factors to help reduce the likelihood of a young person engaging in risky drinking.

As well as being a good role model, suggested ways parents and carers can help their child include: Try to have a good relationship — encourage open communication. Help them to feel a sense of belonging with family, school or through activities and hobbies such as a sporting club. Reinforce positive achievements and experiences at school.

Each Australian state has its own set of liquor licensing laws which regulate the times that pubs could open and close. Until recently these laws were relatively strict, a legacy of the influence of the 'reformist' Christian Temperance groups in the late 19th and early 20th century. The concerns of these groups were in some areas well-founded. Alcohol abuse was an endemic social problem in most western countries and, as the local brewing and distilling industry expanded, it quickly became a serious problem in Australia. However, the Temperance movements were driven by a dogmatic Christian world view, and the aim of the larger "Christian Morality" movement at this time was to outlaw any social behaviour which went against Christian teaching — this included the consumption of alcohol, all forms of gambling and animal racing, prostitution and recreational non-alcohol drug use.

Temperance advocates feared — with some justification — that workers would spend all their time and money in the pub if they were permitted to stay there throughout the evening, and that children and families would suffer as a result which they often did. Pubs were seen as a nexus for all kinds of immoral activity, including illegal " SP betting ", and the Temperance movement lobbied long and hard to have public houses tightly regulated and their opening hours severely restricted.

In this area, the " wowsers " as they were dubbed were very successful but these high moral concerns backfired, at least in terms of liquor licensing, and the new laws led to the evolution of what was a new phenomenon in Australian 20th century pub culture. From the advent of the eight-hour day until the late s, most Australian blue-collar workers were tied to a 9am-5pm, Monday-to-Friday work schedule. Because most pubs were only permitted to stay open until 6 pm, workers would commonly head for the nearest pub as soon as they finished work at 5 pm, where they would drink as much as possible, as quickly as possible, in the hour before the pub closed. This practice came to be known as the " six o'clock swill ". It fostered an endemic culture of daily binge drinking , which in turn created persistent problems of alcohol-related violence — drunken patrons regularly got into alcohol-fuelled fights in and around the pub, and many husbands arrived home in the early evening extremely drunk, with negative consequences.

This destructive 'tradition' persisted through most of the 20th century but it quickly disappeared after the s, when changes to the licensing laws in most states allowed pubs to stay open until 10 pm. Another factor that reinforced the nexus between pubs and problem drinking was the fact that, until the late 20th century in most parts of Australia, alcohol could usually only be purchased over the counter at the pub, and the types and amount of alcohol that could be sold was also restricted. The pub-based bottle shop "bottle-o", usually one of the smaller bars converted into a sales area for bottled and canned drinks, is now commonplace in Australian pubs, but these only began to appear in the s.

These were followed by specialist "sales-only" retail outlet chains where alcohol is not served on the premises. It is still unusual for alcohol to be sold in retail grocery stores in Australia, and specialist liquor stores account for most of the alcohol sold in Australia. In most large cities and towns there were also a number of designated "early openers", pubs that were specially licensed to open in the early morning and close mid-afternoon. These early openers primarily catered for shift workers who had just finished a 9pm-6am night shift. Another Australian pub tradition, which some considered almost as undesirable as the six o'clock swill, was the pub crawl.

In many inner city and suburban areas, it was common to find numerous pubs located within a short distance of each other. It became a regular tradition, especially on weekends and public holidays, for groups of drinkers to undertake marathon drinking sessions that moved from pub to pub. Pub crawls would begin in the late afternoon or early evening, then progress to each of the neighbouring pubs in turn.

Although it still continues in some areas, the worst excesses of the pub crawl tradition have largely disappeared thanks to the enforcement of responsible service of alcohol RSA laws. These laws have made it illegal to serve drunk patrons and both premises and server are liable to severe fines for supplying alcohol to people who are intoxicated. These regulations and conventions created a climate in which many pubs — especially those located near dockyards and other industrial sites — gained a reputation for being violent, dangerous and generally unsavoury places.

Australians were among the highest per capita alcohol consumers in the world, and the combination of large amounts of alcohol, an all-male clientele and aggravating factors like the six o'clock swill regularly led to violent clashes between inebriated patrons. The relationship between pubs and crime in Australia was established early, and some inner-city and suburban pubs were frequented by criminals, who met there to recruit accomplices and plan "jobs". Criminals also regularly used particular pubs as "shop fronts" from which to sell the proceeds of their crimes on the black market. Late in the 20th century, this dubious tradition came to include drug dealing, and every major Australian city has pubs which became notorious from the s as virtual "supermarkets" for cannabis, amphetamines, heroin and other drugs.

Gaming and betting is another major part of Australian pub culture. Legal gambling is a relatively new phenomenon in Australia, but illegal gaming has always been part of pub culture. Because legal betting on horse and dog races was for many years restricted to racetracks, and no off-track betting was permitted, illegal betting usually known as "starting price" or SP bookmaking proliferated. Pubs became a major venue for the collection of bets and the distribution of winnings. One Australian author has noted that SP bookmaking had become so widespread by the early 20th century that constituted "a virtual national act of civil disobedience". One of the betting games most closely associated with the Aussie pub was the coin game two-up , which was extremely popular during the 19th and earlier 20th century.

It is most often associated with the celebration of Anzac Day on 25 April each year. In the years after World War I, it became traditional that, after the early morning commemorative service and march, ex-servicemen would gather at local pubs to drink, reminisce and play two-up. Although still technically illegal, Anzac Day two-up games are now openly played in streets and laneways outside pubs and it has become a national institution that is now generally ignored by police. Slot machines, known locally as " pokies ", remain an important source of custom and revenue, although restrictive state-level licensing means that only a minority of pubs can operate them.

In the s and s, pubs played an important role as venues for live rock music in Australia. Reflecting the age of its fans, in the preceding decades, pop and rock music performances were typically "all ages" events. Smaller concerts were often held in public venues like community, church, school or local council halls, and larger performances like tours by visiting international acts were staged in major concert halls or sports stadiums. Some concerts were staged in licensed premises, but the vast majority were in public venues open to all ages, and alcohol was unavailable. By the late s, Australia's "baby boomer" pop audience was ageing into its late teens and early twenties.

This demographic trend coincided with the gradual relaxation of states' restrictive licensing laws — the legal drinking age was generally lowered to 18 in line with changes to the voting age and the opening hours of pubs were finally allowed to be extended to 10pm. Rock concerts were attracting younger audiences in large numbers, and changes in the licensing laws enabled pubs to begin presenting regular concerts by rock groups in the early s. The relatively low cost of staging pub gigs, the large numbers of patrons they attracted and the high volume of alcohol sales that resulted made them very attractive to pub licensees. State capitals like Melbourne and Sydney had dozens of pubs in inner-city and suburban areas, and many of these had large function rooms or large public bars from the early s pubs became one of the most important outlets for Australian rock music.

Another significant feature of the pub gig was that it gave rock groups in the so-called "Second Wave" of Australian rock the chance to develop their performance and repertoire. Pubs like the renowned Station Hotel in Prahran , Melbourne, offered extended residencies to popular or up-and-coming rock bands, enabling them to hone their playing 'chops' and refine their material in front of a varied audience, and many groups generated fiercely loyal local followings thanks to pub residencies.

The live proficiency of Australian 'pub-rock' bands of this period is widely attributed to their experiences playing in the rough-and-ready atmosphere of the pub circuit. Unlike the frenzied but generally upbeat atmosphere typical of Sixties pop shows, pub gigs could be a testing experience for even the most accomplished band. Often as not, a significant proportion of the audience were in varying states of intoxication, and groups who did not provide the kind of performance that was required by the audience would be mercilessly heckled by dissatisfied crowds.

By the late s a significant number of capital-city and regional pubs were presenting rock music on a regular basis, forming a loose but lucrative circuit of venues for bands all over Australia, and the most popular venues offered music every night of the week. Certain groups became closely associated with formative residencies at particular pubs — a prime example was the long-running residency by Midnight Oil at the Royal Antler Hotel in Narrabeen , on Sydney's northern beaches in the late s. By the end of the s the pub circuit was a major provider of rock music entertainment in Australia and as a result, early tours by many visiting overseas acts from overseas who were becoming popular in Australia included many performances at major city and regional pubs; this included the first Australian tours by bands like XTC , The Cure and Simple Minds ; such bands were often "broken" locally thanks to airplay on the ABC's new non-commercial hour rock radio station Triple J , which played a wide variety of new music not heard on commercial pop-rock stations, and many international rock acts of the s gained live exposure on the Australian pub circuit before gaining wider acceptance.

Pub rock flourished in the s, and this period is now regarded with a degree of nostalgia, and it has come to be considered something of a "golden age" for Australian post-punk rock music. A number of social and economic trends combined to reduce the flourishing pub-rock circuit to a shadow of its former self. In the late s Australian state governments began relaxing the laws governing legalised gambling. One of the most significant changes was the controversial decision to allow the placement of poker machines in pubs. Poker machines quickly delivered huge financial returns to pub licensees and it soon became much easier and more profitable for licensees to close the rooms formerly used for music shows and refurbish them as poker machine parlours.

Another related trend that severely affected the pub circuit was the property boom in Australian capital cities in the s. In cities like Sydney, which once boasted dozens of pubs in the central business district alone, rising prices and increased demand for CBD and inner-city properties saw many pubs closed and demolished. Their strategic location made them prime targets for redevelopment, as did the fact that these buildings — which were often only two or three stories high — were relatively easy and cheap to buy up and redevelop.

The interlinked process of urban redevelopment and gentrification also had a major effect on pubs that acted as rock music venues. From the s on, Australian capital-city CBDs began to be redeveloped; many buildings that were once occupied by businesses or offices that operated on a 9-to-5 basis moved to cheaper locations and in the s a significant number of formerly commercial buildings were either demolished to make way for apartment complexes, or were redeveloped for housing. Another trend that had a significant impact on the pub circuit was the process of gentrification in inner-city suburbs in Australian cities. For much of the 20th century, suburbs like Port Melbourne and Newtown Sydney were working class, low-income areas with a high proportion of migrants, sometimes regarded as slums.

However, in the last quarter of the 20th century, suburbs like Paddington , Glebe and Newtown attracted many younger people because of their colourful character, the availability of cheap rental housing and their proximity to the city and major tertiary institutions like The University of Sydney. Many former students eventually settled in the area and bought property there, and these former "slums" soon became some sought-after locales, beginning a process of gentrification that saw many pub venues put under increasing pressure to modify their trading hours and limit the amount of noise that emanated from pub gigs, which was often considerable.

These significant changes to social demographies led to many renowned pub venues such as the Hopetoun Hotel in Surry Hills ceasing their presentation of music and other events. The inherent value of the property occupied by pubs also led to many more being demolished or developed. This once thriving pub venue was a popular music venue from the late s to the mids, and during its heyday in the s, as well as regular rock gigs, it presented a variety of other events including:.

The typical Aussie pub differs markedly from the cosy, welcoming, family-friendly "cottage" atmosphere of British pubs, albeit with some exceptions. Rapid urban development, coupled with a widespread disregard for Australia's colonial architectural history, has played a large part in this. Most older English pubs have been declared protected heritage sites, since many are now centuries old, but this curatorial attitude is yet to achieve widespread acceptance in Australia, and few pubs in Australia date back further than the second half of the 19th century and some of the grandest Victorian-era pubs have also been destroyed. Surviving late 19th-century pubs such as the Old Canberra Inn in Lyneham, Australian Capital Territory are similar to their British antecedents in layout and atmosphere, although many Australian pubs of this era are typically a good deal larger than the average British pub; many are three stories high or more, and they usually include several very spacious bar areas, as well as large accommodation spaces on the upper floors.

Major regional and country pubs dating from the 19th century and early 20th century are often large and imposing structures, and many were lavishly decorated, both inside and out. Because of Australia's high summer temperatures, wide awnings and verandahs were common around pub exteriors, as they were for most colonial-era commercial buildings. Pub verandahs and balconies were often fitted with elaborate iron lace facings and cast-iron columns, because these new mass-produced components were highly fashionable, relatively cheap, and easily transportable.

Sometimes, in areas where wood was plentiful, internal decoration included elaborately carved wooden fretwork panels. Ceilings and upper walls were often embellished with elaborate plaster panels and cornices. Mass-produced embossed tin panelling was widely used when it became available in the late 19th century. By far the most opulent extant example of the 19th-century Australian pub bar is the famed Marble Bar, originally built in the former Tattersall's Hotel in Sydney.

Following the consolidation of the brewery industry in the 20th century, many new pubs were built and in large cities many older pubs were either extensively renovated or demolished and replaced with new structures. Although Australian pubs vary considerably in size and design, it is possible to define a number of distinctive features that describe the 'classic' Australian urban pub of the midth century.

The typical Aussie pub was functionally designed, often in a stripped-back Art Deco or International Style. In layout, urban pubs typically feature several inter-connected bar-rooms of different sizes and designations, usually clustered around a large central bar area with several serving outlets. Many suburban pubs also often include an outdoor or semi-enclosed area known as a " beer garden ", where food and drink was served and where especially in recent years families with children are able to eat although children of course cannot be served alcohol and they are not permitted in any other area of the pub.

A feature common to almost all Australian pubs, whether in the city, the suburbs or in rural and regional areas, was the provision of rooms that could be rented out as accommodation, usually located on the floors above the bars. Unlike their ornate 19th-century predecessors, 20th century pub bars are relatively spartan in design and decoration. In most pubs the ceilings and upper walls were fairly plain, although some featured moulded Art Deco cornice and ceiling designs.

Compared to America and Europe, relatively few large Art Deco and International Style buildings were constructed in Australia in the s and s. Few of these have survived the recent waves of urban redevelopment and most of Australia's fine Art Deco cinemas, shops, restaurants and office buildings were torn down in the late 20th century. Therefore, Australian pubs of the midth century are among the best surviving examples of Art Deco and International Style urban architecture in Australia.

Although these newer pubs were generally far more utilitarian in design than their predecessors, one especially notable decorative feature of Australian pubs developed in the s and s — the iconic paint-on-glass beer advertisement. This distinctive Australian graphic genre probably evolved from the elaborate back-painted bar mirrors of the 19th century. Often mounted on the outer walls of pubs, these eye-catching pieces were not printed posters or standard paintings. They were elaborate craft products created by teams of skilled commercial artists, many of whom were employed by the breweries for their entire working lives. The creation of these beer ads was a specialised craft — they were entirely hand-painted in reverse on thick glass, and then wall-mounted in heavy brass frames, which were kept highly polished.

Some exterior displays were made with translucent paint, so that they could be illuminated from behind. They featured striking and often highly stylised designs and compositions, painted in vibrant colours, and in many cases the text and some parts of the graphic were accentuated with real gold leaf.

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