New research suggests there is strong support for tougher laws aimed at tackling alcohol-related violence and drunkenness.
Support for hardline laws tackling alcohol-related violence and drunkenness has increased after a series of high-profile incidents in NSW, new research suggests.
The deaths of 18-year-olds Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie in Sydney’s Kings Cross nightclub district are among a series of drunken assaults that sparked national debate about law surrounding drink and drug-fuelled violence.
Mr Kelly died after being punched in 2012, while Mr Christie was attacked on New Year’s Eve.
NSW and Queensland have both considered or passed tougher laws surrounding alcohol-related attacks, including plans in Queensland for mandatory life sentences for so-called one-punch killers.
The NSW government passed eight-year minimum mandatory sentencing laws in January for fatal one-punch assaults if alcohol or drugs are involved.
And NSW recently introduced new alcohol regulations, including last drinks at 3am and lockouts at 1.30am in parts of Sydney.
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) published new research on Wednesday showing that public support for such measures has increased.
The independent charitable organisation’s fifth annual Alcohol Poll: Attitudes and Behaviours report found that 88 per cent of respondents now support increased penalties for perpetrators of alcohol-related violence.
The research also found that 87 per cent were in favour of increasing police numbers at time and locations where the risk of alcohol-related violence is known to be increased.
“In 2014 there is even greater acknowledgment of the harms from alcohol, with 78 per cent of people recognising Australia has a problem with excess drinking or alcohol abuse,” FARE said.
“For the first time, violence was considered to be the problem that Australians were most concerned about.
“Australians don’t see the issue getting better any time soon, with 76 per cent believing alcohol-related problems will get worse or at best remain the same over the next five to 10 years.”
FARE said 64 per cent of Australians thought governments were not doing enough to reduce the risk of harm from alcohol – a rise of eight per cent from 2013.
On the issue of drinking habits, the research found that some Australians are consuming less in a single session.
However, 15 per cent of drinkers are said to consume six or more drinks per occasion and 36 per cent of respondents said they drink to get drunk.