The survey suggests that fewer teenagers are drinking regularly. The number of those who say they never drink at all has climbed from 12% in 2005 to 17% in the latest poll, of 12,000 children in north-west England. Those who drink regularly – at least once a week – fell from 50% to 44%.
However, nearly 30% of those polled were managing to obtain and consume enough alcohol to be classified as binge drinkers – getting through five or more drinks in one sitting. Just over a quarter of binge drinkers said they had been in a car with a young person who had been drinking, and just over a fifth said they had regretted having sex while drunk.