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Banning after ball parties not realistic says ALAC

Banning after ball parties not realistic says ALAC

The Alcohol Advisory Council says banning high school after ball parties will only drive them underground.

Napier police want after ball functions banned after an out of control party organised by Havelock North High School students was shut down on Saturday night.

“We have to recognise that after ball parties do happen whether we like them or not,” says ALAC Chief Executive Officer Dr Mike MacAvoy.

“Imposing a ban will mean students will organise such events in secret and without adult input which could lead to even more horrendous problems than occurred on Saturday night.

“If students are getting grossly intoxicated at such events then one of two things must be happening. They are either being illegally supplied by someone who is over 18 in which case those supplying should be prosecuted.

“Or if they are being legally supplied alcohol by their parents, then obviously the quantities are well above what teenagers can handle and such parents are simply irresponsible.”

Dr MacAvoy says we have to recognise that after ball parties are a fact of life and that young people are consuming alcohol at these events.

“It is important that they do so within the law and safely which means parents have to front up to their responsibilities and ensure there is adequate supervision.”

Dr MacAvoy says there are some basic commonsense rules to ensure the safety of young people at afterball functions: Never supply your child with more alcohol than he or she can safely drink Ensure there is adequate adult supervision Ensure there is plenty of substantial food available

"We've had reports of afterball parties that have been incident free and the students have had a great night out. The key, we think, is for adults to work together with the students in the planning - it's their party. Give them a hand. Be there, but you don't need to intrude."

ALAC has produced a set of guidelines called Planning Parties to assist adults to work alongside young people to ensure after ball parties are fun, safe and within the law.
Dr MacAvoy says ALAC worked with representatives from the community - including local police, health promoters, road safety coordinators and district licensing agencies and school principals - to provide the guidelines.

Copies of Planning Parties: a resource for those working with students organising safe after ball parties can be downloaded from the ALAC's website www.alac.org.nz

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