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Legal Drinking Age Must Be Strictly Enforced

Legal Drinking Age Must Be Strictly Enforced

The legal drinking age should be strictly enforced, especially during the festive season, says NZMA Chairman Dr Ross Boswell.

The NZMA has been increasingly concerned about the harm to teenagers from alcohol since the legal drinking age was lowered to 18.

“Binge drinking is a serious problem for young New Zealanders, and each year during the holiday break we see more reports of drunken teens who are out of control.”

Dr Boswell called on bar owners and staff to carefully check the ID of young people and to be vigilant in enforcing the drinking age.

“Drunkenness makes young people more vulnerable to sexual and physical assault, and there is a terrible toll amongst them from motor vehicle crashes associated with drunk driving.”

“There is much anecdotal evidence to show that the under 18s are gaining access to large amounts of alcohol. Doctors are treating 13 and 14-year-olds who are suffering from drunkenness and its consequences. We would urge parents and others not to supply alcohol to young teenagers unless they are under responsible and moderate family supervision.”

“With more effort to protect youngsters from the harmful effects of alcohol, there is a better chance we will all enjoy a merry and safe Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year,” says Dr Boswell.

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