Compliance with the Legislation on Alcohol Serving and Selling and Alcohol Intoxications in Adolescents

Joris Jasper van Hoof, Gerben Boeynaems, Nicolaas van der Lely

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Purpose: study the relation between compliance to the legal age limits for alcohol sales and alcohol intoxication in adolescents. Methods: from 2007 till 2012 we collected data on adolescents, with a positive BAC, treated in a hospital. Within the Dutch Pediatric Surveillance System (NSCK), pediatricians report adolescents and fill in a questionnaire. In 2012 the questionnaire was extended, involving questions on how and where alcohol was obtained. Results: in total 3,286 adolescents were treated, mainly (88%) related to severe alcohol intoxication; main age 15.3 years, and 54% were boys. BAC level is 1.84 on average, and reduced consciousness last almost three hours. Almost 18% of the adolescents with alcohol intoxication drank themselves into the hospital in a bar or discotheque. Out of the people who indicated how and where they obtained alcohol in about 20% vendors in supermarkets, liquor stores and bars offended the legal age limits. Conclusions: alcohol intoxication treatment remains an issue of importance. For the first time worldwide, we demonstrated that non-compliance with the sales of products with a legal age limit, cause the severe consequences of alcohol intoxication. We call for the catering industry and retailers to improve their compliance, and governments to increase enforcement
Original languageEnglish
Article number1008
Pages (from-to)1008-
JournalJournal of substance abuse & alcoholism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • METIS-306931
  • IR-92999


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