The bottle of vodka that James Webster drank was the alcohol equivalent of 75 stubbies of beer or pre-mixed bottled drinks, his grieving uncle says.
King's College boarder James, 16, died on Sunday morning after drinking the vodka at a birthday party.
His uncle, Donald Webster, said yesterday that he believed James' death was the result of ignorance. "I think they were all too young, there was a lack of education what to do," he said. "None of them knew how lethal a bottle of vodka can be. The people need to know that."
Mr Webster said he suspected the people involved did not know the difference between the bottle of vodka James had taken from his grandmother and that of a similar sized popular youth drink known as Big Foot – an 8 per cent alcohol mix of vodka and raspberry in a plastic 1.125 litre bottle.
"If kids knew that a bottle of vodka contained 75 [pre-mixed drinks], that would be a big help."
Mr Webster said the family had been shocked to hear one of James' friends, Jamie Rodriguez, tell TVNZ: "I saw him sculling back some vodka – like maybe a quarter of a bottle – like water."
Mr Webster said they wanted to cry out at that point: "Why didn't people call the ambulance?".
James' death left a college in Taupo reflecting on a similar experience. Last year, Malcolm Nicholl, 14, was found dead from intoxication and hypothermia after spending a night unconscious on a hockey field.
The coroner found he had been drinking Cody's Colt bourbon and colas, which have an alcohol content of 12 per cent.
College principal Peter Moyle said the King's College experience was something many schools dealt with, and his school was still coming to terms with what happened to Malcolm.
"There are some people who have never really fully recovered from it," he said. "A lot of people struggle with what happened.
"In our school [the death] has raised awareness of alcohol ... of looking after each other."
Mr Moyle believed the Government needed to place stricter measures around youth and alcohol. "Sometimes when it comes to alcohol, young people are completely lost."
If that's not a load of shit, I don't know what is. he didn't know the difference? LIKE FUCK.
Last time I checked, your average 40oz of vodka contained ~29 standard drinks. sounds like the adults involved here are about as fucking stupid as the kids...