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MP proposes to split drinking age

Wayne Mapp National Party MP for North Shore

1 November 2006

MP proposes to split drinking age

National Party MP Dr Wayne Mapp is proposing an amendment to the Sale of Liquor Amendment Bill that would raise the age of those purchasing alcohol at off-licences to 20 but allow 18 and 19-year-olds to drink on licensed premises.

"This amendment would put controls on youth drinking without punishing the majority who use alcohol use responsibly.

"Many submitters to the Law & Order Select Committee hearings pointed out that many 18 and 19-year-olds buy alcohol at bottle stores and supply it to others under 18, and that splitting the ages would help stop this.

"Allowing 18 and 19-year-olds to drink on licensed premises means they would do so in controlled and safe environments where they are less likely to suffer or cause harm than in uncontrolled or unsupervised settings," says Dr Mapp.

"In these settings, they can also buy food and low-alcohol or non-alcoholic drinks, and are actually encouraged to drink sensibly.

"Keeping them in controlled environments is much better than forcing them into parks and cars to drink.

"Splitting the age will introduce controls without punishing the responsible ones, and I think that is the ideal compromise," Dr Mapp says.

ENDS


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