Under-age, under the weather, unchecked roaming the streets


WALKING down Yamba's Clarence Street around 10.30pm last Friday night was a real eye-opener to the worrying trend of under-age drinking.

Various groups of young people, some who were obviously well under the age of 18 years, had gathered around the northern end of the street.

One group of about five teenagers was sharing swigs out of a silver bladder from a cask of wine. They already were well on their way to drunkenness.

Another group had congregated in front of the Star of the Sea Retreat and Conference Centre. This second group, made up of about nine or so kids, looked to be aged from 15 years and onwards.

The youths were not causing any trouble; in fact, they looked like they were having a good time, the only issue being that some of them appeared heavily intoxicated.

Not all of the teenagers may have been drunk, but from the other side of the road it was easy to see that a number of them were behaving boisterously as though they were.

Perhaps the most appalling sight was the case of two young girls who appeared to be so intoxicated all they could manage was to roll around on the grass in front of the toilet block in the park above Main Beach.

By 11pm, another group of youths had arrived and were hanging out around the few cars that had been left parked near the roundabout on Clarence Street.

Again, they could have been either side of 18. Some appeared to be intoxicated.

Under-age drinking is difficult to control at the best of times, but with no authority figures within earshot, this blatant disregard for the law continued unchecked.

? Sally Gordon.

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