Trial over deadly drinking contest begins

A bartender is among five people to have gone on trial in Berlin on Thursday, accused of encouraging a 16-year-old boy to drink himself to death in a tequila drinking contest.

The boy died after being given at least 45 shots of tequila while the competitor, a 26 year old bartender, was given mostly water.

The 16 year old fell into a coma and died five weeks later. Emergency services found a blood alcohol content of 0.4 percent.

Four individuals between the ages of 17 and 21 are on trial for assault resulting in death. Criminal charges are also being brought against the 26-year-old bartender. The accused said they wanted to give the 26-year-old bar tender a competitive advantage. At present, there are no charges against the bar.

Since July 2007, the bar has been closed for further inspection. The incident made headlines and sparked a nation-wide debate about alcohol abuse among young people.