• Spain's news in English

Spain to fine parents of teen binge drinkers

Alex Dunham · 11 Jun 2014, 16:41

Published: 11 Jun 2014 15:41 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Jun 2014 16:41 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The fines on parents or guardians are part of a larger plan by Spain’s Health Ministry which looks at cracking down on binge drinking among young people.

The trend has been nicknamed 'the Nordic model', in reference to the alleged speed-drinking habits of Brits, Germans and other nationalities in northern Europe, which differ from the traditional Spanish way of drinking while eating.

"The idea of fining the parents of young people who drink is not a bad one. It would make parents more aware of the problem and they could take more responsibility for their children because of a fear of being fined," María Rodríguez Renovales, spokesperson for Spain's anti-drug abuse foundation FAD told The Local.

But Renovales said the chief problem was policing the measure. 

"We already have — for example — laws against 'botellones' (large outdoor drinking parties) in Spain, but these continue to go ahead."

The FAD spokesperson described the latest draft of Spain's alcohol law as "brave and ambitious" and gave it full marks for taking a "zero tolerance" attitude to underage drinking.

But she also said it was unlikely the draft would pass in its present form. This was the third draft of the new law, she said, and had been changed again after pressure from powerful lobby groups in the alcohol and hospitality sectors. 

The draft law sets out the largest penalties for supermarkets, nightclubs and bars caught selling alcohol to minors: they could be slapped with a staggering €600,000 fine.

Don't miss stories about Spain, join The Local on Facebook and Twitter.

Spanish authorities may however reduce the penalty if the alcohol sold illegally is beer or wine rather than more damaging spirits like rum or whisky.

According to data by Spain’s Health Ministry, up to 62 percent of minors aged 14 to 18 have taken part in a botellón in the last 12 months, an alcohol-fuelled social gathering popular in Spain where cheap spirits are mixed with fizzy drinks.

Story continues below…

If the law is finally passed, Spain’s government will also ban alcohol advertisements within 100 metres (330 feet) of schools and is also contemplating preventing consumption near places where children and teens are often found, such as public swimming pools or parks.

READ MORE: 'Letting teens get drunk at home is child abuse'

Alex Dunham (alex.dunham@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain worries about tourism future
Photo: Josep Lago / AFP file picture

After basking in its best tourist summer season in 15 years, Spain now sees dark clouds on the horizon as popular destinations reach saturation point and holidaymakers are more thrifty, industry experts say.

Spain’s Socialists lift veto on conservatives
The Socialists have decided to lift their veto on the minority conservative government or not. Photo: Gerard Julien/ AFP

Spain's embattled Socialists on Sunday voted to lift a long-standing veto that has prevented the conservatives from forming a minority government, in what should finally end a ten-month political impasse.

Spain's 'Napflix' aims to bore viewers to sleep
Photo: Screengrab/ Napflix

A Spanish video platform called Napflix, designed to put people to sleep with dull content, was launched this week and its founders are on the lookout for more "monotony and repetition."

Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
jobs available