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Raise the Legal Drinking Age Back to 20

Wednesday 19 May 2004

Destiny NZ, "Do the Right Thing - Raise the Legal Drinking Age Back to 20"

Destiny NZ political party is calling for the legal drinking age to be lifted back to 20 years, after a damning report released by the Justice Ministry this week on teenage drinking. The report said teenagers are drinking more alcohol more often since the legal drinking age was lowered from 20 to 18 in 1999.

Destiny New Zealand leader, Richard Lewis, says the public is already aware of the upsurge in teenage binge drinking and the detrimental effect the law change has had on young people.

"It doesn't take a Justice Ministry report for people to realise this," says Lewis. "In their defence, Government officials claim that it's the 'culture' of binge drinking that needs to change, not the law. Legislating in favour of the 'culture' is like throwing petrol on the fire - what you legalise you normalise. How can parents encourage their young people away from a dangerous culture that our own Government endorses through law?"

"This is the kind of issue that Destiny NZ wouldn't think twice about. The legal drinking age should never have changed, and if this Government really cared about the health of our young people it would reverse its decision and raise the legal drinking age back to 20 immediately."

Lewis says legalising cannabis would have the same damaging consequences.

Destiny NZ will be presenting an overview of its policies at a public meeting in Napier this Friday. The meeting starts at 7.30pm Friday (21 May) at 82 Taradale Road, Onekawa, Napier. (Destiny Building)


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