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New Zealand Already Has De-Facto 18 Drinking Age

“In the vast majority of places serving alcohol, the legal drinking age is already 18 years,” says Dr Wayne Mapp, North Shore MP.

“In most bars, cafes, and restaurants, unaccompanied 18 year olds can buy a drink, provided they have a meal. In North Shore City, every establishment is covered by this rule. It is only the large traditional booze barns and adult entertainment places that the rules are stricter, so that the age is 20.”

“The key point is that in most places serving alcohol, 18 year olds do not have to be accompanied by a parent or spouse over 20 years old. A change in the law would only regulate existing practise.”

“This is why the police want the legal drinking age to be 18 years. It will be easier to enforce than the current situation in which the number of exceptions can cause difficulties,” says Dr Mapp.

“Stricter ID and more rigorous enforcement powers will mean that parliamentarians can safely vote for an 18 year minimum legal drinking age.”

“That is why I am moving a Supplementary Order Paper today to strengthen the enforcement powers in the case of licensees serving underage drinkers. Licensees will know that if they break the law their licence will be endangered,” says Dr Mapp.

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