The Christian Democrats would like raise the legal drinking age in the Netherlands from 16 to 18, as a means of combating the increasing number of youngsters who drink themselves into a coma.
In an interview with the Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf, Christian Democrat leader Sybrand van Haersma Buma says he's shocked by the fact that, on average, two people under the age of 18 end up in a coma each day, as a result of consuming too much alcohol.
Currently in the Netherlands, 16-year-olds can buy wine and and beer. At 18 years of age, people can buy stronger alcoholic drinks (more than 15 percent alcohol).
Last week, the Dutch senate approved a new law that would forbid the sale of beer and wine to people under the age of 18. The proposed legislation also calls for more checks to make sure sellers are complying with the law.
According to the Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy,the number of youngsters who drink themselves into a coma each year has doubled in the past five years, with 762 cases reported last year.
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