Health Director Frederic Sbert has held a number of meetings with a regional lobby wanting to promote quality night life in the Balearics, some of whose members run leisure or food and drink businesses themselves. A common interest at these meetings has been the desire to promote positive images of night-time enjoyment in the Balearics to foreign key client sectors, eradicating the prototype of drunken revellers slumped over pavements, beaches and park benches.
Some essential steps
Sbert said that initital agreements between his department and the lobby has been based on essential steps to be taken such as the denial of alcohol to under-age drinkers and a crack down on the illegal supply of alcohol through unlicensed traders. Any other measures which would reduce the risk of people driving after having consumed more than the legal limit of alcohol, or after the use of drugs, would be considered.
Statistics, Sbert claimed yesterday, showed that alcohol is the intoxicating substance most consumed by young people in the Balearics, whether they are residents or visitors.
Reports reveal that many young people aged between 14 and 24 are compulsive drinkers especially at weekends.
Alarmingly, said Sbert, 47 percent of 14 to 18 year-olds confessed in a recent survey that they had successfully got drunk on at least one occasion over the past 12 months.
Related research, says the Public Health department, shows that 45 percent of all traffic accidents involving 14 to 18 year-olds in the Balearics happen at weekends.
In order to reduce the frequency, the government is planning to launch some high profile campaigns to encourage young people to either make more use of public transport, especially if they are intending to party, or alternatively that members of groups take turns at not drinking any alcohol, or taking any kind of stupefying drugs at all, so he or she can safely drive others around.