Media Release 2 May 2012
Family First NZ says that the proposed changes to alcohol laws to stop binge and harmful drinking by teenagers are naïve, flawed – and laughable.
“To expect the problem of teenage problem drinking to be solved by texts or phone calls from parents who are not actually present at the party or event is simply naïve. Parents need and are asking for community and legal support to prevent the harm of alcohol and the huge peer pressure that exists to binge drink. This can occur by raising the purchase and drinking age and sending a clear message that teenagers should delay their use of alcohol,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“Parents don’t want more pressure from teens to give ‘express consent’. And for that ‘express consent’ to get wasted to come via text message or a discussion is laughable.”
“Alcohol policies and decisions about a legal drinking age should be firmly based on the health and well-being of New Zealand’s young people. New medical evidence on accident probability, disease and brain development, along with the Child and Youth Mortality Review, and the recommendations of the Prime Minister’s chief science adviser, makes it absolutely clear that delaying the age at which teenagers and young people have easy access to alcohol will reduce the level of damage they and society suffer at the moment as well as contributing to their future health and well-being.”
The US National Institute of Health has concluded: “Minimum legal drinking age laws have had positive effects on health and safety. The preponderance of research shows minimum legal drinking age laws have had positive effects primarily in decreasing traffic crashes and fatalities, suicide, and decreased consumption by those under age 21.” (NIH, 2008)
“We need to send an unambiguous message to young people and society about what is good for young people, and raising both the drinking and purchase age will make it easier for parents and the community to work together to prevent harm to our young people. Parents don’t want a split-age proposal as this simply sends a mixed message,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“The politicians should vote to increase the purchase and drinking age to at least 20 in the best interests of our young people and society,” says Mr McCoskrie.