Boozing and cruising: danger!

Boozing and cruising: danger!

120104_06

There’s a lot going on this weekend for us young folks, and inevitably we might be at the receiving end of an ice-cold pitcher of beer.

But have we stopped for a minute to think about our safety?

Over the past few years, youth alcohol consumption in the Kingdom has spiked drastically. Some liquor stores and bars, big and small, have become famous throughout Phnom Penh and the number of billboards and commercials advertising drinking are at an all-time high here in Cambodia.  

Young Cambodians are undeniably taking notice of these trends and advertising campaigns. The sound of knocking glasses blends in with the city noise as young adults dot the street line at outside bars and beer gardens.

According to a study conducted by the People’s Centre for Development and Peace, in which 1,400 people were surveyed across seven provinces, 58 per cent between ages 15 and 25 said they drank alcohol every-day.

And in another survey conducted by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, in co-operation with other NGOs, over 2,400 subjects from ages 10 to 24 showed that 70 per cent of girls said had consumed alcohol while 91 per cent of boys had consumed alcohol.

With these eye-opening facts comes the problem of drink-driving and night-time accidents.

According to Handicap International, half of traffic accidents occurring in Cambodia occur after 5pm – 18 per cent of which can be attributed to drink-driving.

“Drink-driving is a big problem. People aged 15 to 29, accounting for some 50 per cent of accidents, are involved with drink-driving,” said Jeroen Stol, country director of Handicap International.

“The driver has a responsibility not to drink and drive. Taking a tuk tuk is always an alternative option, as is asking someone sober for help driving.”

Although the number of accidents decreased in 2011, the number of fatalities went up.

A lot of young Cambodians will avoid going back home to sleep after a nigh of drinking to avoid facing their parents, so they’ll stay out later instead. This can lead to more drinking, in turn leading to more reckless booze-fuelled behaviour.

Yong Kim Eng, president of the People’s Centre for Development and Peace, told LIFT that “youth who consume alcohol lose control, so they can face problems such as rape and become susceptible to pregnancy or even HIV infection”.

Yong Kim Eng added that there should be measures taken to raise awareness of the negative effects of alcohol consumption to reduce the dangers associated with binge drinking.   

“There should be a restriction in the availability of alcohol on the market by increasing the cost, and the government should put a policy in place to deal with drink-driving,” he said.

Binge drinking carries other risks too, including adverse health effects and the hefty sum of money it takes to fund the habit.

If you find yourself drunk and behind the wheel, remember to take care of yourself and put safety first – don’t drive.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman