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Thread: Law Commission proposes raising drinking age, prices

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    Default Law Commission proposes raising drinking age, prices

    Law Commission proposes raising drinking age, prices
    11:12AM Friday Apr 24, 2009

    Sweeping changes to the way alcohol is bought and consumed could be enshrined into legislation if recommendations by the Law Commission are taken up by the Government.

    Proposed changes included increasing the price of alcohol, raising the drinking age, and radically lowering the breath alcohol level for drivers.

    Commission president Sir Geoffrey Palmer outlined some of the preferred policy options it would be releasing for the public to make submissions on, in a speech at a Nelson pub this morning.

    Last year, the then Labour government had tasked the commission with reviewing the liquor licensing laws in the context of New Zealand society and making recommendations for any changes that needed to be made.

    Sir Geoffrey hoped to have a discussion paper outlining issues for public submissions by July.

    He said today he was "launching a trial balloon" on some of the issues the commission had discussed before presenting their paper.

    There were two aspects to the commission's inquiry, he said.

    More here.
    Mother Bear

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    Blanket drinking ban suggested
    The Nelson Mail
    Last updated 12:32 25/04/2009

    Law Commission president Sir Geoffrey Palmer has raised the idea of a return to an old law making it illegal to drink alcohol in a public place, as opposed to liquor bans that target only certain areas at various times of the day.

    Sir Geoffrey told police and publicans at a breakfast meeting in Nelson yesterday on a review of the country's liquor licensing laws, that he did not like liquor bans because they tended to confuse people.

    "What I will be asking the police is, why not have the old offence of drinking in a public place? Or maybe that's too much for the great middle class to swallow," he suggested.

    Nelson city has recently extended its liquor ban to boundaries beyond the central city, including Stoke.

    Sir Geoffrey's briefing yesterday offered a glimpse of what the Law Commission will recommend for reforms to the law relating to the sale and supply of liquor.

    A discussion paper will be published in July, outlining the issues that will go out for public consultation.

    Sir Geoffrey stressed that the possible changes he had floated were not indicative of Government policy, and the project had a long way to go.

    "Right now, it's a bit like walking a tightrope we could fall off at any time."

    Tasman police commander Superintendent Gary Knowles said yesterday that while he was a firm believer in liquor bans, and that they worked, they were not a panacea for the wider problem. He said the majority of people coming to town were drunk before they got to the bars.

    "I believe some changes will make some difference to how we carry out policing and deal with liquor offences.

    "If we are going to make a difference, we all have a part to play. It's a community problem. We need to stop saying alcohol is a police, licensee or council problem it's our problem," Mr Knowles said.

    Hospitality Association Nelson branch president Paul Max said the sale of liquor through supermarkets needed reform.

    "In Nelson, 65 per cent of take-home liquor goes through the supermarket grocery channels. We would encourage this review to take that into account."

    Mr Max also suggested that councils use the Resource Management Act to prevent alcohol sales in certain areas.

    Sir Geoffrey said using the act had been looked at before and had not proved to be a successful method for regulating alcohol sales.

    Senior Sergeant Grant Andrews of Motueka police told the meeting that adults giving alcohol to young people was a huge issue for the police.

    Sir Geoffrey said the question of parental responsibility was something that needed closer attention.

    "We try and cure a lot by laws, but we need to get the community together with a sense of a common purpose. We have an obligation to protect people."

    From here.
    Mother Bear

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