THE PARENTS of a popular Solihull student who died tragically in a late night drinking game at university are calling for the legal age for drinking to be raised to 21.
Ennio and Joan Venezia, of Blossomfield Road, say the law should be changed after their 19 year-old son Jason died from acute alcohol poisoning on May 13 this year, an inquest at Coventry Coroner's Court heard on Monday afternoon.
Coroner Sean McGovern recorded a verdict of death by misadventure on the student who was in his first year of a psychology course at Warwick University.
He died at Claycroft hall of residence in May after he drank half a litre of vodka in just 20 minutes in a bid to win a bet of £40 with his friends.
Coventry Coroner's Court heard how the teenager had to be carried to his room after he drank more than 15 shots of the spirit and was unable to stand or speak properly.
His friends left him in the recovery position and initially checked on him every 15 minutes but he later died.
Mrs Venezia described her son as "warm, kind and loving."
She added: "Jason never gave us any problems as he was growing up. We regarded him as very level-headed."
Both Jason's parents said there should be a radical rethink of the drinking game culture among university students.
Joan Venezia said: "We do not blame anyone but we do feel that there is an issue surrounding the heavy drinking culture within university life which needs to be addressed. Students need to know that their drinking games can lead to sudden death."
Coroner McGovern said he hoped the way Jason died would help stop similar tragedies happening in the future.
He said: "All we can do is hope to some extent that lessons will be learned from this death."