Should you be driving?

Aussie drink-driving laws have similar penalties, but our BAC level is still at .05. This will be moved to .02 in the coming years.
Be safe for you, your family and the person you may injure because, you thought you were ‘ok to drive!’



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May 4, 2021

For a nation founded on alcohol, with rum as its very first currency, it’s a shock to hear that Australia’s fastest growing drinks category is now non-alcoholic wine.

Worth last year more than $4.5 million, the category is becoming so popular and expanding so rapidly, at an annual rate of 800 per cent, its value could be as big as $15 million by the end of 2021, according to global data company IRI.

Irene Falcone started her retail business Sans Drinks six months ago, with non-alcoholic wines growing in popularity

Irene Falcone started her retail business Sans Drinks six months ago, with non-alcoholic wines growing in popularity

“It is a trend that shows no signs of wavering ... driven by a global trend toward mindfulness and health and wellness,” says Scott Burton, marketing director of Australian Vintage Ltd, which in 2019 launched its non-alcoholic McGuigan Zero wine range that now includes a sparkling, sauvignon blanc, rosé, chardonnay and shiraz.

Especially with the advent of COVID-19, Burton believes Australians are more health aware than ever before and are now putting more thought into moderating the amount of alcohol they consume, possibly after overdoing it in lockdown.

Research has found three out of 10 consumers aged 18-34 choose no or low-alcohol wine because they are on a diet, while some want to drink and drive (wisely).

“These consumers still want to feel part of the occasion, they still want to enjoy a glass of well-crafted wine with the same great taste just minus the alcohol,” Burton says.

The brand Edenvale was among the first pioneers of no-alcohol wine in Australia, starting their production in 2006. They now have 18 varietals, including a blanc de blanc, a sparkling shiraz and a sparkling rosé.

“It’s been growing for a couple of years now but probably in the last few months there’s been an explosion ... especially from new start-ups,” says Edenvale national business manager Paul Andrade.

“Non-alcoholic wine has been around for a while but we’re now talking to major retailers, supermarkets and liquor stores.

“It’s got a lot to do with ... customers being more choosy about what beverages they’ll buy and turning away from soft drinks. Now, they’re after premium.”

It tends not to be a movement of complete abstinence, but more of mixing drinks according to the occasion. Someone might choose non-alcoholic wine over lunch, for instance, so they can still work efficiently afterwards, and drive back to the office, or might vary them over an evening so they’re not hungover the next day.

More advanced production methods are constantly being developed to remove the alcohol from a wine that’s been fermented and matured rather merely mixing grape juice and sparkling water as was done mostly in the past. As a result, some consumers in taste tests conducted by Edenvale were unable to tell the difference between alcoholic and non-alcoholic wines.

“I think a lot of people are surprised by its taste and aroma,” says Andrade. “And it only has half the sugar of normal wine, fewer calories, more antioxidants, and it tends to be cheaper as you don’t have to pay excise on it.”

For complete article

A new study published in the journal Alcohol & Alcoholism has found alcohol adverts commonly appeal to minors.

Half of 11 to 17-year-olds surveyed reacted positively to the adverts featuring Fosters and Smirnoff brands (53% and 52% respectively), and a third reacted positively to an advert featuring the Haig Club brand (34%). Among adolescents who had never consumed alcohol, associations were seen between positive reactions to the adverts and susceptibility to initiate alcohol use in the next year.

For more

Facebook are a big part of the problem… Facebook Exposed: Harvesting Data of Minors For Big Alcohol Targeting

Young People: Late adolescence/early adulthood is a time when diagnosable mental distress often starts, and young people experiment with substances. This is typically a transition period with a lot  of change11.

Co-existence of alcohol misuse and mental distress can be as high as 53% among those attending youth-specific alcohol and other drug services54. It is estimated that eliminating alcohol misuse could mean rates of mental distress decrease by up to 15% among young New Zealanders14.

Alcohol affects brain function, and for young people, high levels of consumption occur at a time when the brain is still developing25. This means that adolescent brains are more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol, with impacts on decision-making abilities, personality, and regulation of feelings26,55. The evidence is growing in this space, illustrating that alcohol has impact on not only functioning but brain structure.

youthdrinkingYouth drinking declines: What have we learned? (NDARC-2021)

Some Take Aways from this Overview

Review of surveys and data sets analysed between 2001-2018 revealed,

  • Average @ 60% decrease in numbers of teens underage drinking
  • Average @ 35% decrease in young adult drinking 18-29 y.o. demographic
  • Significant increase in teenagers not drinking at all by approximated 50%
  • Teens drinking at risky levels also reduced by about 50%

Why these shifts?

Some contributing factors are (none are silver bullets and all mostly small, not significant influencer)

  1. Young people attitudes shift in concerns that alcohol causes most deaths and harms in their community and demographic (again consistent public health messaging taking effect)
  2. Smaller generation gap issue. Changing family dynamics, warmer parenting with more quality and quantity time, which consequently facilitates greater supervision and expectation about teen activity and where abouts. Better modelling by parents around alcohol use, including frequency and intensity changes. (Icelandic model reflects much of this)
  3. Shifting attitudes to alcohol and teen reactions against previous heavy drinking cohorts.
  4. Increasing focus on health and fitness – young people want to focus on study and success and see drinking as taking away from ability to do that…Once into young adult hood, can ‘let hair down’ a bit more. Alcohol increasingly more associated with poor health and health outcomes both short and long term.  Short term diminished capacity for study due being sick is increasingly seen as a liability. Again, growing community awareness of these realities e.g. cancer, mental health etc, may also drive this attitude.
  5. Changing patterns in leisure – Online based activities may mean a significant reduction in the peer proximity contagion e.g. not congregating with friends in public or private spaces and engaging in boredom and peer pressure initiated drinking. Online
  6. Policy changes – Policy didn’t seem to drive change, more reflect it, but the combination of both attitude and legislation brings weight to bear in culture shift, e.g secondary supply laws, alcohol pop tax etc. Cultural position of alcohol is shifting. Not so much the central amenity
  7. Other – Shift to other substances? This research seems to think this is not so, as a other risky behaviours seem to follow the same trajectory – Authenticity in being and relating. Teens are communicating they find non-drinking peers more ‘real and supportive’ and easier to forge genuine intimacies with. Surveillance – the advent of ‘instant recording and sharing’ via social media technologies, this both adds to the volume and frequency of ‘live’ negative harms/consequences of alcohol use, but also vulnerabilities to exposure to ridicule, blackmail or sabotaging future opportunities.

Dalgarno Institute: Further Reflections

Culture shift on any level requires multiple factors and as we have argued continuously for decades, education and legislation work far more effectively to shift both societal attitudes and culture, than simply education alone.

Consistency in both messaging, practice and modelling in an all-of-society context is also vital for culture shift to occur. The avoidance of contradictions or confusion in messages and models, as well as in policies and practices is imperative if we are to avoid the undermining of protective and preventative measures for the emerging generation – our children.  Any contradictions of messaging and modelling in the public square only creates the cognitive dissonance and inertia in proactive best proactive public health change that the broader society is mandated to bring to the young – The future generations that it is charged for providing the best opportunity to grow strong, healthy and productively in every area of development.   

This must include…

This study found that 22% of the children in the sample had sipped alcohol. Beer was the most frequently sipped and the beverage originally belonged to the father.

The study concludes that, providing sips of alcohol to children is associated with them having more favorable expectations about alcohol use.

RELEASE DATE: 01/04/2021

The Association Between Child Alcohol Sipping and Alcohol Expectancies in the ABCD Study

Abstract – Background: Underage alcohol use is a serious societal concern, yet relatively little is known about child sipping of alcohol and its relation to beliefs about alcohol. The current study aimed to (1) examine the contexts in which the first sip of alcohol occurs (e.g., type of alcohol, who provided sip, sip offered or taken without permission); (2) examine the association between sipping and alcohol expectancies; and (3) explore how different contexts of sipping are related to alcohol expectancies. This study expected to find that children who had sipped alcohol would have increased positive expectancies and reduced negative expectancies compared to children who had never sipped alcohol.

Methods: Data were derived from the 2.0 release of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a longitudinal study of children in the United States. The present study utilized data from 4,842 children ages 9–11; 52% were male, 60% were White, 19% were Hispanic/Latinx, and 9% were Black/African American.

Results: This study found that 22% of the sample had sipped alcohol. Children reported sipping beer most frequently, and the alcoholic beverage most often belonged to the child’s father. It was found that children who had sipped had higher positive alcohol expectancies than children who had not while accounting for variables related to alcohol expectancies. Child sipping was not significantly associated with negative expectancies and the context of the first sip of alcohol was not significantly associated with positive and negative expectancies.

Conclusions: Providing sips of alcohol to children is associated with them having more favorable expectations about alcohol use.

 For complete research