Consuming alcohol is a national past-time (so it seems.) In the media, alcohol is promoted so casually that it is a cause for concern for our children. Everyday, you can turn on your television and see an advertisement for some kind of beer or wine while tv presenters talk about it as casually as they please.
While at the same time there are news reports of people with alcohol related health problems, yet the government maintains its unsatisfactory alcohol laws.
In excess of 85% of South Australians aged over 14  consume alcohol and over 85% of South Australian school students (aged 12-17) have tried alcohol.  Research has consistently shown that harmful alcohol consumption results in significant economic and social costs to South Australian communities. These costs impact everyone in some way.
•alcohol misuse costs the Australian community 15.3 billion dollars each year when factors such as crime and violence, treatment costs, loss of productivity and premature death were taken into account 
•51% of alcohol consumed is drunk at levels that pose a risk of short-term harm 
•over 3 000 Australians die each year as a result of harmful drinking 
•over 450 000 children (13.2%) live in households where they are at risk of exposure to binge drinking by at least one adult 
The Australian Bureau of Statistics Alcohol Consumption in Australia: A Snapshot, 2004-05 reports that:
•One in eight adults (approximately 2 million people) drink at risky/high risk levels.
•The proportion of people drinking at risky/high risk levels has increased from 8.2% in 1995 to 13.4% in 2004-05.
•15% of adult males and 12% of adult females drink at risky/high risk levels.
•The increase in those drinking at risky/high risk levels since 1995 has been greater for women than men. From the three National Health Surveys since 1995, the proportion of females who drank at risky/high risk levels increased from 6.2% to 11.7%, while for males the increase was from 10.3% to 15.2%, after adjusting for age differences.
•25% of those aged 14-19 years drank alcohol on a daily or weekly basis in the last 12 months.
The 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey - First Results, April 2008 reports that:
•Nine out of every ten Australians aged 14 years or older (89.9%) had tried alcohol at some time in their lives and 82.9% had consumed alcohol in the 12 months preceding the 2007 survey.
•The proportion of the population drinking daily fell significantly (from 8.9% to 8.1%) between 2004 and 2007 whereas the average age at which people had their first full serve of alcohol (17 years of age) remained stable.
•The proportion of teenagers drinking at least weekly was around 22%.
•One in 17 (5.7%) admitted to verbally abusing someone while under the influence of alcohol.
•One-quarter (25.4%) of Australians aged 14 years or older had been verbally abused and 4.5% had been physically abused by someone under the influence of alcohol.
•Alcohol was thought to be associated with a drug 'problem' by one in ten Australians (10.5%) aged 14 years or older, whereas 45.2% approved (and a further 33.8% did not oppose) the regular use of alcohol by adults.
•High-risk and risky drinkers were more likely than low-risk drinkers or abstainers to experience high or very high levels of psychological distress.
•At all ages, greater proportions of the population drank at risky or high-risk levels for short-term harm compared with risk for long-term harm.
•Overall, about one third (34.6%) of persons aged 14 years or older put themselves at risk or high risk of alcohol-related harm in the short term on at least one drinking occasion during the previous 12 months.
•Males aged 20-29 years (17.2%) were the most likely group to consume alcohol at risky or high-risk levels for short-term harm at least weekly.
•More than a quarter (26.3%) of 14-19-year-olds put themselves at risk of alcohol-related harm in the short term at least once a month during the previous 12 months; higher among females of this age (28.3%) than males (24.5%).
The following statistics present a picture of the harms related to harmful alcohol consumption experienced in South Australia in 2007:
•More than 466 000 South Australians aged over 14 years drank at harmful levels in the past 12 months.
•Over 192 000 South Australians drink at harmful levels at least once a month.
•Each week over 92,000 South Australians drink at harmful levels.
•Approximately one-quarter of school students aged 12-17 consumed alcohol in the last week.
•Over a quarter of students (27%) engaged in potentially harmful drinking behaviour in the last two weeks.
•Each year 153 000 South Australians are threatened by people who have drunk too much.
•Over 43 000 South Australians state that they have been physically abused by someone affected by alcohol in the past year.
•More than 324 000 South Australians report that they have been verbally abused by someone affected by alcohol in the past year.
•Over 33% of households with children in South Australia think it is acceptable for people to get drunk in public on certain occasions.
•In 2004/05, over 6 750 hospitalisations in South Australia were attributable to alcohol.
•In 2005, 280 deaths in South Australia were attributable to alcohol.
•Almost 65% of all alcohol consumed in South Australia is consumed during risky or high risk drinking sessions.
We find these results deeply concerning.
We, the undersigned, call on the governemnt to bring the legal drinking age up to 21.
We, the undersigned, call on the government to censore alcohol on televison and in the media.
We, the undersigned, call on the government to create harsher penalties to those who break the curent laws in place.
We, the undersigned, call on the government to create tougher alcohol realted laws.
The Make Tougher Alcohol Laws petition to The department of Health and Safety was written by Paul and is in the category Law Reform at GoPetition.