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    No more vino for Italian teens!

    Date: 07.27.09 | by Judge Tom.

    A drinking ban prohibiting the consumption and sale of alcohol to anyone under the age of 16 is being enforced for the first time in Milan, Italy. 

    The ban is an attempt to curb the rising trend of binge drinking.  The city claims approximately one-third of 11 year olds have  problems with alcohol. 

    Although underage drinking is a common issue with American teens that is frequently addressed by states, parents and schools, this is a relatively new issue being dealt with in Europe.

    Photo by Thompski (Flickr)

    In a country that has no minimum drinking age, Milan is the first city to ban minors from consuming alcohol and the new law comes as a shock to many residents.  Food and wine are such big aspects of the Italian culture and it is not uncommon for parents to serve their children small portions of wine on special occasions.  However, parents will now be facing heavy fines of up to 500 Euros or approximately $700 if their children are caught consuming alcohol including wine.  Bar and store owners will also face similar fines if caught selling alcohol to minors under the age of 16.

    Why do you believe some teens binge drink or have problems with alcohol?  Do you think binge drinking is a serious problem for teens in the U.S.?  What can be done to help teens with substance abuse problems?

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    • KellyAnn
      Mon, 25 Jan 2010 at 05:31

      what about traveling to other countries? do you follow alcolhol laws of your country, host country, or both? does it matter??
      Dear KellyAnn: Usually you are required to follow the laws of the country you are visiting. But keep in mind your parents rules when deciding whether to take advantage of another country’s culture by drinking when your parents have prohibited it until you’re 21.
      Good luck.
      [This is information only – not legal advice].