The government will probably make some big changes to our alcohol laws very soon. On Monday, the Law Commission gave a report to the government. The report recommended 153 changes to the laws on alcohol. The government will probably change some of these laws.
The biggest change will be an increase in the age for buying alcohol. At the moment, you have to be at least 18. The report recommended increasing the age to 20. Other changes include increasing the tax on alcohol which would increase the price. Shops which sell alcohol to take away, would have to close at 10pm. Bars would close at 4am but after 2am they would have a one-way door which means that people who leave could not return. Another suggestion was to stop alcohol advertising and sponsorship, the same as the government did with smoking.
Sir Geoffrey Palmer, who is the President of the Law Commission, said our society has a lot of problems with young people who drink too much. Some of them drink and drive, some become violent and others commit crimes. Many young people become ill because they drink too much and this is bad for their long-term health. It also wastes time and money for hospital care. Young women who drink too much, risk their own safety.
Questions for discussion
Do you think advertising and sponsorship encourage drinking?
If the age for buying alcohol is increased to 20, will this stop teenagers drinking?
What are the risks for drunk women?
New Zealand is not the only country where young people drink too much. Is it possible to change this?