SBS Insight have missed another opportunity to lead a discussion about viable answers to our violent binge drinking epidemic.
The show, Punch Drunk found here, and via podcast here, was ably led by Anton Enus and produced a series of harrowing personal stories of violence, maiming and death. All too common in Big Liquor’s Australia.
Many found it shocking – and rightly so. However, viewers would quickly pick up that no guest had anything like a complete overview of the effects of the epidemic, across the range of welfare, medical and police situations – with the possible exception of Dr Crozier.
Nor did any guest have a viable swag of solutions that could directly address even the narrow focus of the show – the violence on our streets.
Pedestrian 08 – the use of a Blood Alcohol Content Maximum enshrined in Law – along with in house Breathalyser Machines; Random Pedestrian Blood Testing; and serious behaviour changing consequences for offenders – wasn’t mentioned. Nor were other policies such as a minimum price per unit of alcohol; returning the minimum age to 21 (in Australia); minimising the number and opening hours and all round availability of alcohol; and the complete ban on alcohol advertising and marketing – especially through sporting coverage.
Effective counter measures – directly impacting the scope of the problem were, on the whole, not mentioned nor discussed. Why?
The latter would not be due to the vast array of promotions for alcohol provided by SBS via advertising and publicity provided via its rampant coverage of liquor addled sports.
Every soccer jumper with a liquor ad, targets the young admirer. Priming them to readily accept alcohol at younger and younger ages. This is a long known observation. Along with the link between younger alcohol users and binge drinking and violence. Can SBS producers not see it?