Christchurch Press 20 July 2012
Canterbury’s health bosses want the drinking age raised to 20 and the price of alcohol increased. The Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) yesterday voted to support a South Island alcohol position statement that makes five main recommendations for reducing harm caused by alcohol. Christchurch police and health professionals have also backed the statement.
The recommendations are:
Raising alcohol prices, including increasing excise tax by at least 50 per cent.
Raising the alcohol purchase age to 20 for on-licences and off-licences.
Reducing alcohol accessibility, including tightening restrictions on numbers of outlets.
Reducing the marketing and advertising of alcohol.
Reducing legal blood-alcohol limits for drivers from 80 milligrams of alcohol to 100 millilitres of blood to 50mg/100ml.
Canterbury medical officer of health Alistair Humphrey said about a third of cases at Christchurch Hospital’s emergency department at weekends were for alcohol-related injuries.
He said dealing with intoxicated people affected the board’s ability to reach the Ministry of Health target that requires all people be discharged or transferred from the department within six hours.