Parents of under-age drinkers may have to pay fines

Government's aim is to target parents who allow their children to repeatedly intoxicate themselves

Parents of under-age drinkers who repeatedly end up in hospital emergency rooms as a result of alcohol poisoning may be fined under a new proposal from the government delegate for the National Drugs Plan (PND), Francisco Babín.

The aim of the proposal is not to punish the minors' conduct, but the lack of care shown by parents who allow their children to repeatedly intoxicate themselves, Babín explained on Wednesday.

"Tolerating or assisting by inaction the repeated excessive consumption of alcohol is a form of abuse toward the minor, because it affects their future abilities," he said. "We must not forget that alcohol kills neurons."

The Health Ministry, under whose aegis the PND operates, is considering including such penalties in the draft of an announced Prevention of the Consumption of Alcoholic Drinks by Minors law.

As the proposal is still at an embryonic stage, it remains to be decided how it would function in practice.

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