Price to stay, but vote could ban booze till 20

Sunday Star Times 13/03/2011
Politicians seem certain to face a vote on raising the alcohol age back to 20. The Alcohol Reform Bill now before the justice select committee includes a split alcohol purchasing age – 18 for on-licence, and 20 for off. But after a number of evidence-based submissions highlighted the detrimental affects of alcohol on developing teenage brains, an amendment on raising the age to 20 is likely to be made. National’s Simon Bridges, who chairs a sub-committee hearing the submissions, said he originally supported the split age option, but the submitters recommending 20 had persuaded him. Others on the sub-committee were not so sure. Labour’s Charles Chauvel said he still supported 18 but wanted tighter restrictions to ensure younger people were not getting their hands on grog, while his colleague Carol Beaumont was undecided.