The consumption of alcohol in Australia is widespread, but public support varies for measures that may prevent alcohol-related problems, such as disorder and violence. The 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) estimated that around 90 percent of Australians aged 14 years or over had ever consumed at least one full glass of alcohol, while nearly half (49%) had consumed alcohol at least once a week in the past 12 months (AIHW 2008). The survey also asks whether respondents support or oppose a range of regulatory and law enforcement measures aimed at tackling the problems associated with alcohol. According to the 2007 survey, one in 10 Australians considered alcohol to be the drug most associated with Australia's 'drug problem', and the measure that received the highest public endorsement was for more severe penalties for drunk driving (86%). This was followed by stricter laws for serving drunk customers (83%) and stricter monitoring of late-night licensed premises (75%). Of the 16 measures in the NDSHS, none had a significant decline in support, while support for eight measures increased significantly compared with the 2004 NDSHS. These included restricting late-night trading of alcohol (58%, up from 52%), reducing trading hours for pubs and clubs (39%, up from 32%), reducing the number of outlets that sell alcohol (32%, up from 29%) and increasing the price of alcohol (24%, up from 21%).
Support for measures to reduce problems associated
with alcohol, Australians aged 14 years or over (percentage)
* Statistically significant difference at p<0.05>
Source: Adapted from AIHW (2008), Table 4.2
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2008. 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey: first results. Canberra: AIHW