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Alcohol Related Child Admissions A Sober Reminder

Mon, 8 Nov 2004

Child hospital admissions reminder of need to up drinking age

Hon Jim Anderton MP, Progressive Leader

An increase in the number of alcohol-related admissions to hospital for children aged between ten and fourteen underscores the failure of the 1999 decision to lower the drinking age, says Progressive leader Jim Anderton.

"In 1999, one of the arguments to justify lowering the drinking age is that it would somehow assist to diminish the youth binge drinking culture.

"That has not happened.

"The alcohol liberalization experiment has run its course, and it time we went back to square one by raising the drinking age, tightening liquor broadcasting rules and strengthening regulations to monitor supply to minors," Jim Anderton said.

Progressive deputy leader Matt Robson has drafted a Bill that proposes to raise the minimum alcohol purchasing age to 20. The Bill also proposes to strengthen provisions relating to the supply of liquor to minors and to strengthen liquor advertising law.

It was reported today that there was a rise in the number of alcohol-related admissions to hospital for children aged ten to fourteen since the drinking age was lowered.

Injury Prevention Research Centre figures show that admissions for that age group increased 87 percent between two periods surveyed. It went from 39 admissions between 1997-99 when the minimum drinking age was twenty, to 73 admissions between 2000-2002, after the drinking age had been lowered to eighteen.


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