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When is a Minor Not a Minor

When is a Minor Not a Minor

Press Release

Thursday 8 June 2006

The Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC) is extremely surprised at a Palmerston North District Court throwing out a charge of selling liquor to a minor because the judge thought the 16-year-old used in the police sting looked ‘about 22’.

“The Sale of Liquor Act forbids the sale of alcohol to those aged under 18,” says ALAC deputy Chief Executive Officer Sandra Kirby. “There are no exemptions from the law for those young people who look older than 18.”

“We all know that accessing a young person’s age is notoriously difficult which is why many premises, including this one, have a policy to request identification from anyone under 25. This premises displayed signage saying ‘Under 25? Our policy is to ask for identification so please don’t be offended. No ID, No Service’.”

That policy was obviously not followed as the employee admitted he had sold liquor to a minor without asking his age or requesting identification.

Ms Kirby says such policies are in place to protect the employee; the birth age or how old they look would be irrelevant if such policies were followed.

“We are not asking for much - just for the law to be enforced.”


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